Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Boureki - Potato and Courgette Lasagna

I've decided to use food to trick my body into thinking that it's summer instead of winter. Today instead of making typical winter foods like soup, stew or just comfort food, I've decided to make a dish that I've only had once before, on the island of Crete, when it was gorgeous, sunny and warm outside. To me this recipe tastes of the sunny days and cool nights of Crete in April. The typical Boureki recipe is made with either filo dough or a pastry crust but I've found that making it this way gives virtually the same taste but is infinitely easier!

Easy Boureki
3 courgettes/zucchini
2 large potatoes peeled
1 leek sliced in 1/4 inch semi circles
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
4 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 cup minced mint
3 tablespoons minced coriander (cilantro)
2 eggs
1 250g container of ricotta
1 200g package feta cheese
3/4 cup olive oil (yes seriously...it's good for you!*)
1/4 cup water

Thinly chop all the vegetables and place in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the flour. Using your hand toss everything in the bowl to make sure they are coated with flour. Add the garlic, mint, coriander, eggs, cheeses and olive oil to the bowl and mix with your hands until the eggs and cheese are equally spread throughout the vegetables. Pour mixture into an oiled lasagna dish. Press down on the vegetable mixture with your hands to pack the mixture into the dish. Drizzle the water on the top of the vegetable mixture.

Cook in a 170 degree C (340 F) oven. Do not put in a hotter oven than 180 C or 350F because the olive oil will oxidize and lose it's healthy benefits! Cook for 1.25 -1.5 hours.

Serves: 6
Cooking time: 1.5 hours
Active time 15-20 minutes
Total time: 1.75-2 hours

*Olive oil has been shown to lower cholesterol, is an anti inflammatory, helps prevent gastric ulcers. Also people who use olive oil in place of other fats, have much lower rates of heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and asthma. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=132#healthbenefits

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