Samian Pumpkin Pita - Samiotiko Boureki

This savory pumpkin pita is one of the specialties of the island of Samos, combining sweet pumpkin with onions, feta cheese, and mint.  It is traditionally made using a distinctive coiled design.

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1 ½ kg pumpkin, peeled, δεseeded, and cut into chunks
3 large red onions, peeled and chopped fine
1 ½ cups crumbled feta (about 3/4 pound)
2 heaping tbs dried mint
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tbs rice or bulgur
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound commercial phyllo, at room temperature
olive oil


Preheat the oven to 375° F.

1.  Bring about 1 1/2 inches of lightly salted water to a rolling boil and simmer the pumkin until soft.

2.  Remove and place in a cheesecloth or colander to drain.

3.  Let it cool, then squeeze out all the excess moisture.

4.  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet and saute the onions over medium-low heat until wilted, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, about 8 minutes.

5.  Combine the pumpkin and the onions in a medium size bowl. Mix in the feta, the mint and the eggs. Add the rice or bulgur and combine thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6.  Oil a large round nonstick pan.

7.  Open the phyllo and keep it covered with a cloth.

8.  Take one sheet at a time and place it in fron of you so that the long side is horizontal. Brush the surface with olive oil.

9.  Fold it in half from the bottom up so that the fold is nearest you. Spread about 2 1/2 tablespoons of filling in a straight line across the bottom of the folded phyllo, leaving about 3/4 of an inch on both ends and the same on the bottom.

10.  Fold in the edges and gently roll up the phyllo so that you have a cylinder abour 1 1/4 inches in diameter.

11. Place it seamside down along the inner rim of the pan. Continue with the remaining phyllo and filling, placing each cylinder side by side then working inwards so that the whole pan is filled with what looks like a coil.

12. Bake the pie for about 50 minutes, or until it is golden and crisp.


You may make individual pies instead of one large one
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