Zucchini zaniness!

July 17, 2012

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I joined a CSA for this summer and I will eventually write about that specifically, but what that participation has done for me generally is reinforce my decision to go organic and local whenever possible and when I’m not too out of money at the end of a pay period. Following my farmers on Twitter and interacting with the outgoing Karla—from her updates about what’s going on at the farm to twitversations about issues related to all aspects of food—my appreciation for “know your farmer” has really grown. I’ve received four boxes thus far (I’m on the every other week plan) with recognizable things and, because I signed up for the “booyah” version rather than basic, many things that I haven’t had before, which was the idea.

This is a long-winded way of saying that on the off-weeks for the CSA I have been availing myself of the many excellent farmers markets in town. At the farmers market, I don’t necessarily try to buy weird stuff. In fact, I prefer to get things I know I like. I brought home a lot of zucchini last week.

Zucchini is just about my favorite vegetable. I love it any way there is. When I was a kid, my mom would slice it and sauté it with onions until it was well-done and carmelized. Sometimes I still make it that way. She also used to make a casserole that included ground beef, corn, tomato, and cheese. Ever so occasionally I try to recreate that. But most often these days, I just slice the zucchinis in half and broil them gently.

Today, though, I wanted to make a meatless main dish, with my goal being to use up most if not all of my current supply. I found this delicious-sounding zucchini pie recipe on about.com. It was pretty easy to make—and even harkened back a bit to my mom’s casserole—but unfortunately, it didn’t even take half of what I have on hand.

Here’s the recipe as I made it. You can find the original version here. Okay, it’s not so zany, but it is amazingly delicious! And proudly made with local and regional ingredients, except for the quinoa and the olive oil.

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Cheesy Zucchini Pie

1-1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 egg whites
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp non-fat dry milk plus enough water to make 1/4 cup milk
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped basil, divided
3 cups thin sliced zucchini
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 cup red cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp olive oil

Crust
Preheat oven to 400°F. 

Gently beat eat whites. Mix in quinoa. Spread around a pie dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes; remove and set aside. 

Zucchini
Reduce oven to 375°F.

Whisk together the egg yolks, milk, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Place the half of the basil and the zucchini slices into the bowl and toss to coat with the milk mixture. 

Place one third of the zucchini into the prepared crust. Sprinkle on one third of the cheese. Repeat the layering, finishing with the last third of the cheese. Toss the tomato halves with the olive oil and spread on top. Sprinkle with the remaining basil.

Bake at 375°F degrees F. for 45–55 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Pro tip: Pair with your favorite tasty beverage!

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