The last Monday of the month … a new and interesting recipe (zucchini pie, anyone?) … yes, it’s Secret Recipe Club time!
Faithful readers of Rhubarb and Honey know that I’ve been participating in The Secret Recipe Club for awhile now. The idea of The Secret Recipe Club is similar to other blog exchanges in that each participating blogger is assigned another participating blog to make a recipe from, but the twist with The Secret Recipe Club is that you can’t tell anyone whose blog you have—shhhh, it’s a secret!—until you finally post about the blog you were assigned and the recipe you chose.
This month, my assigned blog was Bewitching Kitchen, written by Sally, a biochemist and molecular biologist by day and a food blogger by night!
Sally currently resides in Manhattan, Kansas, but she was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and her blog includes a number of fabulous-sounding Brazilian recipes. Actually, so fabulous-sounding that I’m contemplating throwing a Brazilian dinner party with the menu and recipes coming completely from Sally’s blog … caipirinhas, feijoada (bean and mixed meat stew), mandioca frita (fried yucca root), pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread), bolo de fuba (cornmeal cake), and mangas flambadas (mango flambe) … that’s a dinner party you’d like to attend, right? I know I would! Hmm … perhaps that an idea for The Chef and I when we move into our new home! But until then …
Zucchini. So, so, so much zucchini in our house right now.
As most folks who like to eat locally can attest to, summertime brings an abundance of certain produce into your life, and zucchini tends to be at the top of list. Luckily, I found a recipe on Sally’s blog that takes care of a lot of it in one fell swoop … torta di zucchini … or as I’ve lovingly dubbed it, zucchini pie!
According to Sally, her recipe for torta di zucchini comes from an old, out of print cookbook by Italian chef Giuliano Bugialli; it calls for both sliced and grated zucchini, which helps to knock out two zucchinis at once. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against zucchini, but when it seems to never leave your countertop, you’ll look for a recipe such as this!
I left the ingredients in Sally’s recipe pretty much as is, though I did modify the amounts quite a bit and changed the preparation as well. The end result? A light, refreshing, quiche-like pie that makes a great accompaniment to a healthy summer meal. The grated zucchini and egg make a creamy, custard-like filling that contrasts nicely with the sliced zucchini, which remains slightly firm even after baking. The lemon adds a bright flavor that helps to elevate the light taste and feel, and the grated Parmesan adds a burst of needed salt.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that this recipe was met with mixed reviews. Both my mom and dad loved the dish and went back for seconds, but The Chef felt it was lacking just a bit of flavor. My review? I was split between my parents and The Chef … I loved the lightness of the dish, the contrasting textures, and the burst of lemon … but I too felt it needed a tiny kick. And with that said, I think roasting the sliced zucchini just a bit would do the trick; the carmelization created by roasting would add another layer of flavor to round out the dish … and I can’t wait to try that next time because we will definitely be making this zucchini pie again!
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (for base)
- 4 eggs, beaten
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (for filling)
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (for filling)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 medium-sized zucchini, grated
- 1 medium-sized zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (for topping)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (for topping)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray; sprinkle 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs in the bottom of the dish.
3. Mix the beaten eggs with the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Add the grated zucchini; stir to combine.
4. Place a thin layer of sliced zucchini on top of the breadcrumbs, overlapping the slices slightly; pour 1/3 of the grated zucchini mixture over the top and spread evenly to edges. Repeat with another layer of sliced zucchini, 1/3 of the grated zucchini mixture, another layer of sliced zucchini, the final 1/3 of the grated zucchini mixture, and a final layer of sliced zucchini.
5. Top the final layer of sliced zucchini with 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until top is lightly brown and pie is set.
7. Allow pie to cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.
[This post is linked to Gastronomical Sovereignty's Fresh Foods Blog Hop.]
To learn more about The Secret Recipe Club or to join in, click here to read about it and sign up!