recipe: zucchini pie

This weekend’s cooking adventure was to do a vegetable “lasagna.” This is really more of a veggie pie. I use the term loosely since typically lasagna in Italian refers to the wide pasta itself. The American slag of a layered dish to be baked is fine, which is what this is, but it includes no actual pasta and we bake the casserole as if it were a pie, hence the post title.

We decided to experiment with our newly purchased mandoline and tweak a combination recipes we had done before. Cooking together meals like this is always fun because we can work in tandem on parts and take our time and enjoy the experience of putting the whole thing together. Once the prep is done it’s really leave it to bake, enjoy a glass of wine and then dig into the meal. Honestly, this is going to sound fairly complex because there are a lot of pieces, you’ll just have to trust me that it’s very simple in the grander scheme.

We made everything except the veggie crumble and crushed tomatoes from scratch. If you explore around the blog enough you’ll find out how to make veggie crumble and how to blanch and peal tomatoes to crush as well, but since we didn’t plan fully ahead we took those two short cuts.

What I love about recipes like this is the richness of them while still essentially being healthy and simple meals. There are a lot of ways to manipulate the ingredients and no matter how you do it there’s a lot of flavors to go with that. Note that the flour and the hard cheeses are always layered against the zuchs as to help absorb some of the extra moisture given off by the zuchs and the egg helps bind the cheese mixtures in order to make up for the extra moisture as well.

While it’s baking (oh, I know, baking!) the smells can really become intriguing and invigorating…

Tomato (canned, crushed)
Small onion
celery
Garlic cloves
Zucchini
Extra virgin olive oil
Veggie Stock
veggie crumble
Italian Seasoning (dried 2:2:2:1:1:1:1 Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage and some other herbs and seasonings as deemed necessary by us)
Salt
Cracked black pepper
Parmageno regiano & Pecarino romano (shredded or grated)
Mozzarella (shredded)
Ricotta
Egg
Flour

Large stock pot
Sauce pot
pie pan

Dice the onion into small pieces
center cut the celery and then slice into small pieces
Crush the garlic
Dice part of a zucchini into small pieces

Place the onion and celery in the Sauce Pot over low heat with olive oil, salt and pepper and allow to sweat
Add the diced zucchini to the pot and allow to sweat
Once the onion begins to caramelize add the garlic and allow to sweat
Before the garlic begins to brown add some stock
Bring the mixture up to a boil and back down to a simmer and allow to reduce by at least half
Once the reduction occurs add the tomatoes
Season with the italian seasoning and black pepper as neccessary
Bring the mixture up to a boil and then down to simmer over low heat
While this is happening work on the next steps

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In the large stock pot bring water up to a boil with a pinch of salt
Run the zucchini through the mandoline to create long slices (~5-8″ long depending on veggie)
Gently place the slices into the pot of boiling water to blanch for no more than 3-4 minutes
Immediately shock in cold water and pat dry

Once the tomato mixture has had a chance to reduce by about 1/3 add the veggie crumble
Season with the italian seasoning and black pepper as necessary
allow to come back up to a boil and then down to a simmer and work on the next steps

Combine the egg and ricotta cheese and season with the italian seasoning
Combine pecarino and parmageno with italian seasoning and black pepper

Spray a pie pan with (hand pumped oxidized) olive oil
Layer the thin sliced zucchini using the parts with the least seeds to line the bottom, interweave if possible so it’s about 2 strips deep in most places
Lightly dust the zuchs with flour
Spread a layer of the ricotta mixture over the top of the zuchs
Spread a layer of the tomato-veggie crumble mixture over the ricotta
Dust the top with a layer of the pecarino-parmageno mixture
layer more zucchini strips lacing the pieces as best you can so that they work out being about two deep
Lightly dust the zuchs with flour
Spread a layer of the ricotta mixture over the top of the zuchs
Spread a layer of the tomato-veggie crumble mixture over the ricotta
Dust the top with a layer of the pecarino-parmageno mixture
repeat as many times as necessary until your last layer of the dish
Before adding the zucchini in the last layer add some of the mozzarella and a light dusting of the italian seasoning
layer more zucchini strips lacing the pieces as best you can so that they work out being about two deep
Lightly dust the zuchs with flour
Spread a layer of the tomato-veggie crumble mixture
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, be sure to have a catch under your pie dish for overrun

After initial baking increase the temperature to 450
Put a layer of mozzarella and pecarino-parmageno mixture and return to the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the top is golden brown

Remove from oven and allow to rest! After 10-15 minutes you can cut and serve with additional pecarino-parmageno mixture

I usually would use red pepper flakes in the cooking in order to give things a little bite, but if you find that you need that afterwards from not cooking them in, then feel free to serve that at the table for some extra flair

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About thedoormouse

I am I. That’s all that i am. my little mousehole in cyberspace of fiction, recipes, sacrasm, op-ed on music, sports, and other notations both grand and tiny: https://thedmouse.wordpress.com/about-thedmouse/
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One Response to recipe: zucchini pie

  1. Pingback: recipe: zucchini pie « doormouse's declarations and personal … | ClubEvoo

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