This fluffy baked Greek omelette with courgettes and cheese is a speciality of Rhodes, the capital of the Dodecanese, but is eaten throughout Greece with different islands varying the ingredients.
The name Sfougato comes from the Greek word Sfougari / Σφουγγάρι which means sponge. It closely resembles a Spanish omelette or Italian Frittata, but it is lighter as it is not pan fried. It also reminiscent of an Israeli dish which is made with minced turkey or chicken. You can also make a vegetarian version.
Although courgettes are the favourite choice of vegetables, you can use potatoes, aubergines, peppers, green beans or leeks. It’s a perfect breakfast, light lunch or even dinner with a salad, meze or as a picnic item.
Ingredients (serves 6):
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
Salt and Pepper
450g (1lb) beef/lamb/chicken or turkey mince
100g asparagus tips, chopped
Juice of ½ a lemon
700g (1½ lb) courgettes, washed, rinsed and grated using the larger shredding holes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
50ml hot water
2 tbsp chopped dill
2 tbsp chopped mint
2 tbsp chopped parsley
6 medium organic eggs
100g Graviera, Ladotyri, Kefalotyri or Kasseri (or any cheese you prefer)
50g toasted breadcrumbs
You will also need a 28×20 cm (11×8 inch) oven dish
Preheat the oven to 180C or 360F.
Add 1 tsp salt to the grated courgettes, toss together and let them drain in the sieve for 15 minutes while you prepare the minced meat.
In a deep frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the chopped onion, spring onions and garlic until soft. Add the minced meat and cook until the meat changes colour, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon and mix in the asparagus.
Squeeze the water out of the courgettes and add them to the minced meat, stir fry for a few minutes, season lightly with salt, pepper and paprika, and squeeze in the lemon juice. Pour in the hot water, cover the pan and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed, then remove the pan from the heat.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and herbs until fluffy, add in half of the cheese and pour into the minced meat.
Grease and flour the baking dish and sprinkled in half the toasted breadcrumbs, pour the mince mixture into the dish, smooth the top, sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs and the remaining cheese over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes until firm and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Cut into large squares, serve either warm, at room temperature or cold with a salad and crusty bread.
Καλή Όρεξη! Kali Orexi!