Continuing on the butternut theme, I had to make this not so known, traditional butternut squash Greek pie or pita, that is called batzina. The beauty of it is that it has no crust and requires minimal preparation. This recipe comes from the area of Karditsa as well as Trikala in Central Greece and is basically a pie that has no phyllo (or crust). It was originally made with just milk, eggs and flour, all in one bowl and then baked in a pan.
This particular pie is traditionally made with zucchini or butternut squash. The secret to it is that is very thin and so it becomes crunchy. The ingredients are very basic: shredded butternut squash, feta, eggs, milk (or you can use yogurt) and some flour and of course olive oil.
I have to admit that I had quite a few pieces as a midmorning snack, they were so crunchy and tasty. The rest we had as a main with salad, but I’m thinking this would be great as a side for fancy fall dinners and even Thanksgiving.
Greek Crustless Butternut Squash Savory Pie – Batzina
- 1 pound grated peeled butternut squash
- ½ pound crumbled feta
- 1 egg
- ½ cup milk
- 1/3 cup olive oil plus more for greasing the pan
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 cups flour
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees F (180 C)
- In a large bowl mix the milk, the egg, feta (save a handful for sprinkling on top), olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt.
- Add the butternut squash and mix.
- Add the flour gradually until you have a thickish dough, it should not be very dense.
- Empty dough in a large greased pan, the thickness of the dough should be about less than an inch deep-not higher.
- Sprinkle with the rest of the crumbled feta.
- Bake for about an hour until golden.
- Serve slightly cooled with freshly ground pepper. You can also drizzle some honey.
This looks very good – can anyone tell me about how many cups of grated squash equal one pound?
Harriet. the recipe is pretty forgiving. as long as you cook it long enough to get it crispy. if you’re using zucchini, grate it first, and leave it in a bowl and add some salt. mix it. the salt will take out the water. leave it for about 20 min or so. then squeeze as much liquid out as you can. then do the rest as in Elena’s recipe. it has to be thin when on it goes on the pan. don’t leave it too thick. better to have a larger pan and make sure it’s spread out thin.
i’m actually making some right now. zucchini is fresh this time of year. if you are close to farm country, see if you can’t get some of the large ones. my local farmer is letting some grow really large for me. 8-10 lb zucchinis. (1lb doesn’t cut it for us, i’ll eat that myself ) but i don’t have any measurements. it’s all eyeballed.
I was very curious about this recipe. Finally tried it and it is really good. I used a food processor on pulse for the shredding.
being from the region, i grew up on this, among many other different types of pita. plasto, galatopita, batzina, etc etc. this one is so easy and simple. mom always uses zucchini, but i’ll get her to use butternut squash next time. it’s in season now, so why not.
when adding flour, you’re right. i ask my mom how much, and the response? ” not too much, not too little.” great mom. basically, don’t leave it too liquid, but don’t make it very heavy with flour. it will cook just fine.
Ha ha yes! Thank you for sharing Nestor!
I’ve made this a bunch of times. It’s so delicious. This time I used half barley flour and I was very pleased with the result! I bought a huge sack of barley flour to make barley rusks. Now I am trying to find ways of using it up. Do you have any other delicious Greek recipes using barley flour??
Great idea! You can use the barley flour in a phyllo recipe (https://www.olivetomato.com/easy-greek-homemade-traditional-phyllo/), also bread, croutons.
This is delicious and error proof! I put chopped butternut squash in the food processor rather than grating. Then I completely lost track of how much flour I put in, so tried to compensate by adding various amounts of milk and flour until I guessed the consistency was right. It was still delicious. I’m excited to try it again paying more attention to the ingredients I’m putting in.
Glad you enjoyed it Sara!
I made this yesterday. I used about two and a half cups of flour which produced a spreadable dough. I baked it on a 17 x 13 sheet pan that I had lined with parchment paper and lightly oiled with olive oil. I was in a hurry to get dinner on the table so I baked it at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. It came out nicely browned on the bottom and crispy. My whole family loved it!! It tasted very different than I imagined the combination of ingredients would be. We served it with a bowl of soup. This would make a fabulous appetizer, cut in small squares and topped with a dab of honey of jalapeño jelly or creme fraisch. Thank you for this delicious recipe. I will make this again.
I made this a couple nights ago and even my feta-averse husband loved them! I added the flour gradually per the recipe, but stopped at 2 cups, as it seemed plenty thick. Then reduced the baking time. Turned out great. I might be brave next time and do the whole 3 cups…
Great! No need to add more flour if this amount worked for you. Greek home cooks have a way of explaining how much flour to use, they say “as much as it takes” to get the right consistency.
I made the Batzina the other night and found it to be very tasty. It was both sweet and savory. It makes for a nice snack or side with some soup or something.
Elena, I am trying to avoid gluten, do you think a combination of cornmeal and cornflour would work in this recipe? It looks and sounds wonderful!
Thanks! The cornmeal should work fine.
Hi Sandra. Just corrected it, You add just after the mixing the liquid ingredients.