Boureki from Chania is a zucchini and potato gratin filled with Greek cheeses. It’s a delicious vegetarian meal that can also be served as a side on special occasions. Delicious all on it’s own and even better with a nice salad and some hearty bread.
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Boureki: Zucchini and Potato Gratin from Chania
Boureki is a zucchini and potato gratin from the city of Chania in Crete. It's rich and tasty with all of the Greek cheeses: feta, ricotta, and kefalotiri. This dish is a great option for entertaining because it can me made ahead.
- Serves 6:
- 3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch(3mm) thick
- 3 zucchinis. sliced 1/4 inch (3mm) thick
- 8 ounces of ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 8 ounces shredded parmesan or kefalotyri
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup of flour
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
Preheat your oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.
Place the zucchini slices in a colander and sprinkle with some salt. Set aside for 1 hour to drain. This step is important so that the gratin will not become watery. Discard all of the liquid that the zucchini releases, pat the slices dry. Drizzle some oil on the zucchini slices, season with salt, pepper, and oregano.
Put the sliced potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle 1/4 cup of olive oil over them. Season well with salt and black pepper.
Combine the strained ricotta with the crumbled feta in another bowl and mix well.
Combine the finely chopped onion with the chopped herbs (mint and parsley) and mix together.
Pour 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a 10 x 10-inch baking pan.
Arrange half of the zucchini slices on the bottom of the baking pan. Top with half of the onion and herb mixture. Dollop ¼ of the feta cheese mixture on top. Dust lightly with all-purpose flour.
Layer half of the potato slices on top. Drizzle half of the heavy whipping cream on top and sprinkle 1/3 of the parmesan cheese over top. Dollop ¼ of the feta cheese mixture over that.
Repeat the zucchini layer as before then the potato layer. Top with the remaining parmesan cheese and sprinkle some oregano over it.
Place in the center rack of the preheated oven and bake uncovered for 25 minutes.
Remove the baking tray from the oven and cover with parchment paper then with aluminum foil. Bake covered for 1 and ½ hours. Remove the cover and bake uncovered another 30 minutes. Or until the potatoes are fork tender.
Tip: crumble the parchment paper and wet it lightly with water. This will help keep it in place.