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'Kolokithopita' - Aromatic Pumpkin in Filo Pastry

Updated: Nov 7

It seems very fitting that in October, and with Halloween approaching, I should be offering a favourite savoury Pumpkin recipe to you. This time made with my glorious blue-bloomed ‘Crown Prince Squash’, the taste of which I believe to be the best in the squash family. It is fabulous to grow and predictably in Fovant, the pheasants took a liking to it as well…we had to cover each fruit with a wigwam of sticks to prevent them pecking holes in the lovely skin as it grew!!!


This recipe originates in Greece and Cyprus and is often made into little pasties or pies. I have adapted the traditional recipe over the years and continue to experiment with whatever dried fruit, herbs or nuts I have to hand. I suspect the Greeks do the same. Don’t let the Four Parts put you off. The recipe is very simple. I’ve just separated it like this so that the steps of the process are easier to follow. This serves 4 generously or 6 with veg or salad.


Ingredients – Part One

800g squash/pumpkin – 2cm diced cubes

3 Tbsp olive oil

1tsp Salt

Ground black pepper

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 Tbsp. Harissa Paste

1 Tbsp. sugar


Part Two

40g cooked bulgar wheat

70 g sultanas

30 g pine nuts

40 g chopped cashew nuts

Bunch of Spring Onions, chopped.

2 tsp mint, tarragon dried or any fresh herbs


Part Three

300g pack of filo pastry

Oil for brushing filo

Sea salt for sprinkling


Part Four

2 Cloves of garlic & 4 Tbsp Olive oil


Method

Brush a 22cm baking tin generously with oil.


Place all ‘Part One’ ingredients into a Roasting pan, toss together and bake at 200 degrees Fan oven for 30 mins.


Meanwhile, prep Part Two ingredients


When squash/pumpkin is cooked, mash up and mix in Part Two ingredients.


Part Three - Take your first sheet of filo pastry and place on a surface with the long edge nearest to you. Brush with olive oil then place a second sheet of filo pastry over it.

Place one third of your pumpkin/squash mixture evenly along the length of the pastry as if making a sausage roll. Tuck in the short ends, then roll up like a cigar away from you so you have a long stick/tube affair. Curl this first one into the centre of your baking tin.

Repeat this process twice more, and complete filling the baking tin – it ends up like a swirl.

Brush your assmbled pie with more oil, sprinkle with sea salt and Bake for 40 – 45 mins at 200 degrees in a Fan Oven.


Part Four - Crush the garlic cloves and place in a small pan with the olive oil and gently fry, pressing the juices out of the garlic. Do not burn the garlic. Strain.

When the pie is cooked, remove from the oven and pour the garlic oil over the pie. Leave to stand for 10 mins then serve.


Notes

If you do not have sultanas – use raisins or dates or prunes

If you do not have pine nuts and cashew nuts leave out completely

Alternatively, substitute the nuts with pumpkin seeds, sunflower hearts, walnuts, pecans

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