Nigella Lawson’s Zucchini and Chickpea Filo Pie my oh my!

I picked up How to be a Domestic Goddess from the library on a friend’s suggestion. I knew that it would be chock full of delicious and decadent desserts, so I was surprised to find some recipes for savory pies.  This one immediately caught my eye.  A different sort of recipe with EPC’s two favorite foods, chickpeas and zucchini, and our favorite blend of spices.  I had taken a look at the recipe before Christmas and then forgotten about it, remembering it this morning as I puzzled over what to make for dinner tonight.

This recipe needs an 8 inch springform pan, which I received as a thank-you gift this past fall. So, thank you both back, as I am now equiped to make this delightful recipe.

I encountered one minor hurdle putting this exquisite pie together: we only had brown basmati rice.  I was sure we had a small amount of white lying around – certainly enough for 1/2 cup, but I was wrong.  Since brown rice takes almost twice as long as white, the recipe took considerably longer than expected.  Although an advocate of whole grains, I think in this case white rice is the way to go.

Hurdle overcome, it was out of the oven in time for EPC to scarf down a slice before heading off to his yoga class, but not in enough time for him to digest said piece before his class begins.  He just headed out the door and  I hope he does not get any unpleasant cramps during warrior pose or come home moaning of a stomach ache.

C’est la vie.

Epilogue:

EPC came home that night without experiencing a stomach ache or cramps during yoga.  As soon as he got in the door he requested another piece of filo pie and proclaimed, “This is the best thing you have ever made.  You can make it again whenever you want and pie or no pie, I would eat the filling on its own!”

There you have it.  Nigella Lawson’s Zucchini and Chickpea Filo Pie is a winner!

Zucchini and Chickpea Filo Pie

1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 small onion or 1/2 a large onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoons of tumeric
1 teaspoon of ground corriander
3 zucchini, diced with the peel
generous 1/2 cup of basmati rice
2 1/4 cups of vegetable stock
2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
scant 1/2 cup of melted butter
7 ounces of filo dough (I am not sure how much 7 ounces is, but I layered 8 sheets for the bottom of the pie and scrunched up two, but you could easily up that number to 12 or so, for a thicker crust.)

  • Preheat the oven to 400C
  • Fry cumin seeds and onions on medium low heat until the onion is soft. Add the corriander and tumeric
  • Add the diced zucchini and increase the heat, so the zucchini cooks without becoming watery. Cook until they are tender, but not too soft.
  • Add the rice and stir well to coat with oil. Add the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring while you do. When all the liquid is absorbed the rice should be cooked.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the chickpeas and check the seasonings
  • Brush the springform pan with the melted butter.
  • Line the bottom of the pan with 3/4 of the filo dough. Buttering each piece as you layer. Let the sheets hang over the sides of the pan.
  • Spoon in the slightly cooled filling, fold in the overlapping edges, butter and scrunch up the remaining sheets and place on the top of the pie.
  • Brush with a final coat of butter
  • Cook for 20 minutes until the pastry is brown.

Let sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

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