Pites are what Greeks call all kinds of pies (and yes, that ‘flatbread’ too) made with cheese, vegetables, meat, or sweet ingredients such as chocolate and custard, sandwiched between crispy layers of phyllo dough. There are also several pies, such as this savoury zucchini and trahana pie here, that are made without phyllo dough.
This crustless pita here is what my boyfriend’s mother – the mrs Julia from the title – calls ‘moutzopita’ (Μουτζόπιτα)*, or ‘trachanokseskoufoti’ (Τραχανοξεσκούφωτη), but I suppose you could simply refer to it as a kolokithopita (κολοκυθόπιτα) or ‘zucchini pie’ as well. It’s made with lots of grated zucchini and sour trahana, an ancient type of ‘pasta’ made from flour and sour milk or yoghurt, but what I like best are the chunky pieces of salty feta scattered throughout the pie and the generous amount of fresh herbs that is used to flavour it – usually basil, spearmint (dyosmos / δυόσμος), peppermint (menta / μέντα) and oregano, which my boyfriend’s mother picks straight from her garden on Naxos.
This pie is made for us almost every time we visit Naxos and sometimes it’s even brought from Naxos to our house in Athens by boat as well (together with loads of fresh produce from the garden). This year was the first time I asked if I could watch the pie being made and my boyfriend’s mother was generous enough to share her recipe and tips with me… and now I am sharing them with you! With permission, of course. Since this pie is crustless, there is no need to bother with making phyllo, so it’s an easy yet very delicious recipe that even I – a non-baker – can make. It’s a great Greek pie that you can serve as a snack, serve cold for breakfast, or serve as a main course with some tomato salad on the side.
*I’ve been told that the word ‘moutzopita’ can actually be considered to be a bit rude in Greek (though, all in good fun). While the word refers to the fact that you make slight indentations in the pie-batter with your fingers (see photograph above and recipe below), it can also refer to the rude hand gesture called ‘mountza’ or ‘moutza’ (open palm and finger’s spread at someone’s face) that is used by Greeks as an insult – naughty!
Mrs Julia’s Kolokithopita me Trahana / Κολοκυθόπιτα με Τραχανά της κα Ιουλίας (Greek Crustless Zucchini and Trahana Pie)