Mmmm! Just saying Vegetable Pie makes my mouth start to water!
A few weekends ago we spent two nights camping in our friend’s front yard! It wasn’t quite camping… the only similarity it held was the fact that we slept in a tent and had a campfire! Otherwise we enjoyed being outside, but didn’t do any hiking, cooking over a fire or any of that stuff. We had the comforts of home with the enjoyment of sleeping under the stars!
Wow! So where did that come from? From yummy food to camping with friends?!?!?! These dear friends of ours, whom we don’t get to see very frequently, were generous enough to let us spend the weekend with them. A few years ago they introduced us to Vegetable Pie (not the real name) and we have had many mouth watering conversations about it since!
The dish takes ALL afternoon to make. When she first told me about it and how labor intensive the recipe is, I thought, “I will NEVER make that!” I’m the queen of healthy, but quick meals. I don’t have time or energy to spend all afternoon (and part of the morning too) in the kitchen for just one dish. I will say, after I tasted it I was hooked!
Since we would be spending the weekend together we decided it would be a good idea to share the work and make Vegetable Pie together. We visited the farmers market that morning and purchased the ingredients we needed to start! Another bonus was that the husbands got to be on kiddy duty for the afternoon! We have three kidos and so do they… so two men watching 6 wild ones was quite a show!
On to the recipe! I will forewarn you that it takes a SUPER long time to make, but it is SO worth it! I have made this for company before and it is a sure way to make new friends… the only problem is they expect food like that again the next time they come back. Fortunately, for me, I don’t mind breaking that expectation… although unfortunate for them!
If you do try making it, please let me know how it turns out for you! Once you look over the recipe you will think the ingredients are so unassuming, but PLEASE take it from me it truly is amazing! Make sure you follow ALL of the instructions. If you leave any out or try to cut corners it doesn’t taste the same and isn’t nearly as good!
Enjoy! Bon appétit!
Zucchini, Tomato and Cheese Pie (AKA Vegetable Pie)
10 inch pastry shell (recipe follows)
1 ½ lbs zucchini
3 medium size ripe tomatoes (heirloom farmers’ market variety are best)
4 TBSP butter
1 TBSP oil
3 eggs, separated
2 cups grated swiss cheese
½ cup feta cheese
Freshly ground pepper
1 TBSP chopped fresh basil or mint (have never tried making it with the mint)
Prepare and cook the pie shell; set aside to cool. Wash the zucchini, trim and cut into ¼ inch slices if large; cut small zucchini lengthwise. Salt, drain, and pat dry. Meanwhile, peel the tomatoes, halve horizontally, and remove the seeds. Heat 2 TBSP of the butter with the oil in a large sauté pan. Lightly brown the zucchini on both sides; drain on brown paper. Lightly brown the tomatoes until they soften slightly but do not become limp. Cool.
When you are ready to assemble the pie, beat the egg yolks, set aside.
Place half of the zucchini in the shell. Sprinkle with one-third of the grated Swiss cheese and half the feta cheese, dot with 1 TBSP butter, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and half the basil or mint. Beat the egg whites and fold into the yolks. Spread half of this mixture over cheeses. Slightly flatten the halved tomatoes and arrange across the pie. Sprinkle with one-third of the Swiss cheese, half of the feta cheese, and the remaining basil or mint. Top with the remaining zucchini slices, and season with salt and pepper.
Spread with remaining egg mixture,Top with the remaining Swiss cheese, and dot with remaining TBSP butter. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until the eggs are set. Cover the pastry edges with aluminum foil if they are getting too brown.
Gradually mix the butter into the flour until the butter is broken up into pea-sized bits. Beat the egg and add to mixture along with salt; mix until well combined. (this is quickly done in a food processor. When the dough balls on the processor blade it is ready.) Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out on a floured board. Place in a buttered 10-inch deep-dish pie plate, working with your fingers until it fits evenly. Prick dough with a fork, and cover with aluminum foil. Weight down. (I always use some clean gravel I keep in a container just for this purpose – you can also use dried beans or rice.) Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and the bottom just about cooked through (it will bake further when the filling is added).
I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but I can’t. This same friend purchased this cookbook for me for my birthday this year so I have my own copy of this fantabulous recipe! And many other spectacular recipes!
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