One of my favourite Greek appetizers is a dish called Bouyiourdi. It’s a baked mish-mash of tomatoes, peppers, Feta, Kasseri cheeses, oregano, some chilli flakes and baked in the oven until hot and gooey. It screams for bread to scoop out this molten goodness. I call it a Greek fondue!
Last year I served this autumn Bouyiourdi with a twist, using roasted butternut squash as a base. There’s still lots of cheese to scoop up with warm, comforting squash.
Butternut Squash Bouyiourdi
1 butternut squash (about 1lb), roasted* (see note below)
extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/4 cup strained Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. dry white wine
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 cup grated Graviera (or Gruyere) cheese
sprinkle of fresh or dried thyme
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (or pistachios)
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- You will need three or four baking vessels, about the size of soup bowls or just use one large casserole dish. Pre-heat your oven to 400F.
- Scoop out the flesh of the cooked squash and roughly chop and place in a bowl.
- Add olive oil, garlic, scallions, Feta, yogurt, wine and mix with a spatula. Taste, add salt if needed and ground pepper.
- Place in ramekins or one large casserole dish.
- Top with grated Graviera, sprinkle some thyme and cover with foil. Bake in your pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven, top with pumpkin and pomegranate seeds, serve with a spoon and crusty bread.
*Roasting butternut squash: Pre-heat your oven to 450F, cut in half lengthwise, remove seeds. Brush flesh with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, ground fennel, a bit of cinnamon. Bake (flesh side up) for 45 minutes or until fork-tender. Scoop out flesh when cool enough to handle.
© 2020, Peter Minaki. All rights reserved.
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