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Cheesefare Sunday is the last day to eat dairy products before the start of Great Lent. Tyropites, cheese pies, of various kinds are a favorite throughout Greece. Enjoy the following recipes, including a savory pie made with feta and kohlrabi, also known as a turnip cabbage, and a spicy Greek yogurt dip.
Kohlrabi and Feta Pie
2 pounds kohlrabi, with greens if available
3 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil, plus additional as needed for phyllo
If the kohlrabi has greens attached, remove, wash the greens and blanch them in a pot of salted boiling water for about one minute. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out excess water, and chop coarsely. Set aside. Peel the kohlrabi, making sure to remove the tough layer just under the skin, and grate by hand or using a food processor with the grater attachment.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and
add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt, stir, and then stir in the garlic, cooking just until fragrant, about 30 seconds, and stir in the kohlrabi. Add another tablespoon of olive oil if necessary. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetable mixture is very tender and beginning to color, about 10 minutes. If the kohlrabi releases a great deal of liquid, turn up the heat and cook, stirring, until it boils off. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chopped kohlrabi greens, dill, and parsley, and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush a 10-inch round baking pan with olive oil. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl, add the crumbled feta and the kohlrabi mixture and stir to combine well.
Line the pan with 7 pieces of phyllo, brushing each sheet with olive oil, and turning the dish after each addition so that the edges of the phyllo drape evenly over the pan. Fill the phyllo-lined baking pan with the kohlrabi mixture. Fold the draped edges of phyllo in over the filling, then layer the remaining 5 sheets of phyllo on top, brushing each sheet with olive oil as you add them. Tuck the edges into the sides of the pan. Score the top crust so that steam can escape as the pie bakes. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes to an hour or until the crust is crisp and golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Quick Greek Yogurt Dip
1/4 cup Greek extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup parsley, leaves and tender stems, finely chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon Greek sea salt, plus more to taste
2 cups Greek yogurt, preferably full fat, but 2% also works
Heat the oil in a small saucepan for 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Stir together the garlic, parsley, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and salt in a mixing bowl. Pour the hot oil over the spice mixture in the bowl and let it infuse for 5 minutes. Place the yogurt in a serving bowl. Drizzle the oil mixture on top of the yogurt. Serve the dip with raw vegetables, crackers, pita chips, and/or bread.
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