I grew up in a small house in north-west Toronto. Even though our house and yard was small, my parents had a garden for as long as I could remember. I recall being asked to go to the backyard and pick raspberries. I am not sure why my mother kept asking me to do this: it usually resulted in annoyance on her part as I always seemed to eat more than I actually brought in the house (how did she know? stained hands). We had a cherry tree, which I would give my left arm for now. We almost never see cherries here in Mexico, and when we do, they cost about the price of an arm and a leg. I have wonderful memories of playing hide and seek with my friends and hiding in that cherry tree, happily snacking in my shaded hiding spot.
I remember my parents growing tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, and lettuce. I’m sure there are more, but those were the vegetables that were always there and as is with any garden, sometimes it seemed every vegetable of one kind was ripe on the same day and had to use it in creative ways or else given away.
My mom has been making this zucchini pie recipe for as long as I can remember. I will admit that I was not a big fan of it growing up. I may not have liked it growing up, but I am pretty sure that this is the type of dish that helped me to enjoy zucchini. I mean, how could you not like pie filled with cheese for dinner? Never mind that the crust is brushed with a hint of Dijon, which gives every bite a nice tang.
While I make a fast and light quiche crust for this, feel free to swap out for whatever pre-made crust you can find in your grocery store. (It’s summer, I’ll forgive you). I noticed in Europe how many grocery stores have these beautifully wrapped packages of pizza dough, phyllo, and many other options. If you need to save time, go ahead I won’t judge you. I would do it too if I had access to it.
You can also swap out the cheese for whatever you have in the fridge, but I will say that mozzarella is nice and stringy and allows for the zucchini flavours to shine through. My Croatian/Italian friend used cottage cheese which sounds like a good option to try if you wanna switch things up.
Need more zucchini recipes? The very first recipe I ever posted was my CHICKEN ZUCCHINI POPPERS. Yes, the picture is sad, but hey, it was my first food picture ever! Don’t let the picture fool you, they’re fantastic for snacks or dinner and another great way to use up that Zucchini. If you promise to try them, I promise to take a new picture.
Happy summer everyone …. enjoy all that fresh fruit and all those glorious fresh vegetables. And send me some cherries, will you?
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 9 TAB cold butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 TAB ice water
*I used a 10 inch glass quiche pan for this recipe.
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt and whisk together. Cut cold butter into small cubes. Add the butter and cut into flour with two knives or pastry cutter until the size of small peas. In a separate bowl, combine egg yolk and ice water. Add this mixture to the flour and combine with a fork.
Dust working surface with small amount of flour. Shape the dough into a ball. Roll the dough out until it is slightly larger than your quiche pan. (How to check? Place pan over the dough and make sure there’s an extra 2 inches for pushing up the sides). Gently transfer dough to pan, fitting into corners and trimming off edging on the tope with a knife. Chill dough for 30 minutes.
- 5 cups thinly sliced unpeeled zucchini
- 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- generous pinch each of salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 teaspoons Dijon
Preheat oven to 350°.
Put a large skillet on medium heat. Melt butter, add zucchini, onion, and garlic. Cook about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Stir in parsley and seasonings. In a small separate bowl, combine eggs and cheese. Stir into vegetable mixture. Turn off heat.
Remove crust from fridge. Lightly brush Dijon all over the crust and up the sides. Transfer filling to prepared crust. Bake for about 20 minutes or until knife inserted near centre comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Makes one ten-inch pie. Serves 8.