This is a brilliant way of dealing with a glut of courgettes. If you want to stop them turning into sad, leathery old marrows, you need to pick them while they're young, which is all very well but it means they start producing like crazy. This recipe will happily take on as many courgettes as you can throw at it, and unlike a lot of courgette dishes, which can be a bit waterlogged, this is packed with flavour. It will feed about 8 people for lunch, and is perfect with a tart tomato and onion salad.
1 kg courgettes, grated, sprinkled with two teaspoons of salt and left for 30 minutes
120ml olive oil
1 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 onions finely chopped
small pack of fresh chives, snipped into tiny pieces
7 sheets of filo pastry
120ml double cream
4 sun dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped
bunch of dill, leave stripped and finely chopped
handful of mint leaves finely chopped
200g feta cheese, crumbled seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Tip the grated, salted courgettes onto a clean tea towel and collect the four corners together, Squeeze over the sink until no more liquid comes out, then set aside.
Heat the butter and 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large pan, then add the garlic, onion and chives. Fry until soft, then tip in the grated courgette and fry gently until there is no liquid.
Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan) and get out a deepish baking tray. I use a 30cm x25cm but it can also be a bit smaller if that's what you have to hand.
You need to paint both sides of each sheet of filo pastry with olive oil, so unroll the filo pastry and using a pastry brush, paint olive oil over the top sheet. Now drape it, oiled side down onto the baking tray and lay the edges over the sides.
Paint the side facing you with olive oil and then do the same with another sheets - so you should have four sheets of pastry, painted on both sides with olive oil, layered on top of each other and draping over the sides of the tin. This is the base for your pie.
Scatter the onion and courgette mixture evenly over the pie.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and cream together, and stir in the chopped herbs, sundries tomatoes and crumbled feta. Season with salt and pepper and pour evenly over the courgette mixture.
Fold in the edges of the pastry which are hanging over the side of the tin, then paint another sheet of pastry with olive oil and place it, oiled side down, evenly over the pie filling. Brush with oil and then do the same with the last sheets of filo. As you do each one, tuck it in so that it holds the filling.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 40-50 minutes. Check on the pie after about 30 minutes and place a piece of foil loosely over the top if it is browning too fast.
When the pie has set and is nice and golden, remove from the oven. Serve warm, rather than hot.