Well, it’s that time of the year: Fall! I love this season Halloween, Thanksgiving, leaves falling from the trees, pumpkins, candy. Here in Greece though it is still somewhat warm, but you will see leaves falling from trees as well as olives falling from the olive trees. Halloween is not exactly celebrated here, although in recent years several stores are selling halloween decorations and some expat groups organize “trunk or treat”, so that the kids can still go trick or treating. Even the local Starbucks here have been starting to serve pumpkin spice latte. Speaking of pumpkin, I do have a weakness for pumpkin pies, and here in Greece we have our own version which is a vegan pumpkin pie made with phyllo.
Pumpkins do have a place in Greek cuisine but mainly in the form of pies: savory and sweet. The savory pumpkin pie is yummy and includes feta cheese, while the sweet pumpkin pie (glikia kolokithopita) is traditionally combined with raisins and walnuts and is vegan since it was consumed often during fasting periods here in Greece. This version here also includes walnuts, olive oil, brown sugar (instead of just white sugar) and a just a touch ginger. No milk, no eggs and no butter.
The crispy phyllo is perfect with the soft sweet filling, making it a fairly light dessert getting the most nutrition from the pumpkin (vitamin A, beta-carotene) without all that saturated fat. It can be served warm (you can reheat it in the oven before serving to get the phyllo crispy) or at room temperature.