137. Moldova: Herby Zucchini Feta Pie

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Moldova, a tiny tiny country in Eastern Europe wedged between Romania and Ukraine. The national hero of Moldova is Stephen the Great who is Dracula’s (then know as Vlad The Impaler) cousin. He fought the Turks and won 46 of his 48 battles. He was crowned by the Pope as Atleta Cristi which means Champion of Christ. Then there is the story of Transnistria a country within a country that is nog recognised by the rest of the world as country but a part of Moldova. Nonetheless they have their own currency (which is useless everywhere else), visa, border patrol. The biggest part of Moldova feels connected to Europe, but Transnistria feels more connected to Russia and the old Sovjet Union.

Things you didn’t know about Moldova:

  • Moldova is placed the 12th among the top world wine exporters. Vine growing and wine making in Moldova counts for almost 5,000 years. And also the largest underground wine cellar in the world, Cricova, is “hidden” in this country. It’s a 120km long and the deepest point is more then a 100m deep. The wine cellar holds at about 40 million liters of wine.
  •  Cleopatra Stratan holds the record for the highest paid young artist, the youngest artist to receive an MTV award and the youngest artist to score a #1 hit in a country.
  • In the time of the USSR Soroca became the Gipsy capital of the world.
  • The biggest animal that ever lived on this territory is “Denoterium”, a breed of what is known to be like an elephant.  The animal’s skeleton is now preserved in the ethnographic museum and is considered to be the second biggest in Europe.

This is a really nice recipe perfect for hot summerdays accompanied with a nice salad! The herbs make it nice and fresh!

Ingredients:

  • 6 zucchini medium shredded
  • 1 onion yellow, medium chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 7 oz feta crumbled
  • 12 sheets phyllo dough thawed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 tbsp parsley freshchopped
  • 2 tbsp dill fresh chopped
  • 1 tbsp mint fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper

Instructions:

  • Shred the zucchini and place it in a colander for about an hour;
  • Heat up one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet, add chopped onions and cook for about 3-4 minutes until translucent; cool it down;
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F (180C);
  • Chop parsley, dill, and mint;
  • In a bowl combine feta and eggs, season with salt & pepper;
  • Squeezing extra excess of water out, place zucchini in a large bowl; add onions, herbs and eggs/feta mixture;
  • Brush the bottom of baking dish (13 x 9 inches) with olive oil; place the first layer of phyllo dough and brush with olive oil; continue until you have 6 layers;
  • Pour the zucchini filling into the baking dish;
  • Cover with a sheet of phyllo dough and brush with olive oil; continue until you have 6 layers of phyllo dough;
  • Fold over the flaps of the dough, and brush the entire top with olive oil;
  • Using a knife make few wholes in the dough;
  • Bake in the center of the oven for an hour or until the crust is crisp and golden brown. 
  • Cut into squares and serve warm.

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