Recipe: Crustless Zucchini Pie

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The French would call this a flan, I suppose, but this rustic Balkan dish--called mamaliga in some parts of mainland Greece--uses cornmeal as thickener with just two eggs and no cream.

8 to 10 appetizer portions

    • 2 pounds zucchini or squash, coarsely grated
    • salt
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
    • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
    • Freshly ground pepper or Aleppo pepper flakes, to taste
    • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
    • 2 medium tomatoes thinly sliced (optional)
    • 2-3 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs

Toss the zucchini with 1 teaspoon salt and let wilt in a colander for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Press the zucchini to extract most of their juices and transfer to a large bowl. Add the onion, the cheese, the cornmeal, plenty of pepper, the mint, and the eggs, one at a time, mixing well with a good spatula. Add the olive oil and mix once more.

Lay a piece of parchment paper on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Pour in the zucchini mixture and even the surface with a spatula. If you like, lay the tomato slices on top, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with the bread crumbs.

Bake for 10 minutes and lower the oven temperature to 375°F. Bake 25-30 minutes until set and golden brown on top. Let cool and cut into bite-size pieces to serve.

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Aglaia Kremezi writes about food in Greek, European, and American magazines, publishes books about Mediterranean cooking in the U.S. and Greece, and teaches cooking classes. More

Aglaia Kremezi has changed her life and her profession many times over. She currently writes about food in Greek, European and American magazines, publishes books about Greek and Mediterranean cooking in the US and in Greece, and teaches cooking to small groups of travelers who visit Kea. Before that she was a journalist and editor, writing about everything, except politics. She has been the editor in chief and the creator of news, women's, and life-style magazines, her last disastrous venture being a "TV guide for thinking people," a contradiction in terms, at least in her country. She studied art, graphic design, and photography at the Polytechnic of Central London. For five years she taught photography to graphic designers while freelancing as a news and fashion photographer for Athenian magazines and newspapers. Editors liked her extended captions more than the pieces the journalists submitted for the events she took pictures for, so she was encouraged to do her own stories, gradually becoming a full time journalist and editor. You can visit her website at www.keartisanal.com.


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