Pumpkin, rice & dill filo pie

You can add some toasted, smashed-up almonds to the pie filling for texture. Serve with a green salad for a simple lunch.


  • 550g butternut pumpkin, peeled
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup long grain rice
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated haloumi
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 250g filo pastry sheets
  • 120g butter, melted


Peel and coarsely grate the pumpkin and carrots.

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan, add onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat for 10 minutes, until onion is soft.

Add carrot and pumpkin and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until vegetables are soft.

Add diced tomatoes and their juices, the rice and about 2 tbsp of water and cook for a further 10 minutes until liquid has evaporated and rice is almost cooked. Remove from heat and cool.

Add dill, eggs, haloumi cheese and freshly ground black pepper to rice mixture. Combine well.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Brush the insides of a round 23cm springform tin or ovenproof dish with some of the melted butter. Take one sheet of filo and brush with some a little melted butter. Line tin with the buttered layer of filo pastry, leaving excess to hang over the edge.

Give the tin a quarter turn then add another buttered sheet. Repeat until you have lined the bottom and sides of the tin with about 3/4 of the filo, buttering each piece of before you layer it. Make sure you have 3 or 4 filo sheets left over for the top.

Carefully put in your slightly cooled filling, and then fold in the overlaps.

Butter the last layers of filo and scrunch on top of the pie as a covering. Brush with a final coat of butter then bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, until pastry is golden and filling is firm.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
A dish like my pumpkin pie needs texture, and the 2010 Ravensworth Marsanne from the Canberra wine district delivers. Ripe stone fruits and herb florals complement the sweetness of the pumpkin and a rich, creamy mouth-feel is balanced by a racy acidity. Delicious!

First published in the Good Weekend.

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