Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Before Summer Fades...

MKG Summer Veggie Tart

It's getting late in the season and until last month, I was woefully behind on my tomato harvests.  This was just not the summer for tomatoes around here- it's been the fall for tomatoes.  Therefore, I've gathered enough to make you my summer (fall) vegetable celebration pie from seasons past... before summer fades entirely.

Last summer I was faced with an abundance of lovely different cherry tomatoes (black cherry, sungold, and red currant) and plenty of zukes, and I knew I wanted to turn these into some sort of veggie pie.  I hunted around the interwebs, checking out all my favorite recipe spots, but just couldn't find what I was looking for.  I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I read through about 5 different veggie pie recipes until I had a feel for the proportions and techniques involved, and the timing and oven temperature.  Then I just winged it.

I am happy to report that it turned out very tasty.  So tasty, in fact, that two friends asked for the recipe after I brought it to a baby shower.  Full disclosure: This represented the first time in my life that I had been asked for a recipe for something I invented.  Yippee!!!!

A note about the recipe- I love cheese.  I mean, I really love cheese.  You could easily cut the amount of cheese in half and it would still be good.  Also, you could substitute Gruyere or a mix of cheeses in place of the cheddar.  You do what you want, but I will always be a New English gal who loves her Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar.

So without further ado (and now that I've harvested enough tomatoes to actually make it) here it is!

Assembling the tart...
The MKG Summer Veggie Tart
Makes one 9" pie, serves 4-8

1 Trader Joe's frozen pie crust (or similar)
2 small or 1 medium zucchini
1 small onion or shallot
1 clove garlic
1 hot or sweet pepper (optional)
~1.5 - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 pint cherry tomatoes (or a couple regular size tomatoes)
olive oil

1. Defrost pie crust.

2. Preheat oven to 450°F.

3. Chop zucchini, onion and garlic (and pepper, if using).  Toss with olive oil and a dash salt in a saute pan and cook until tender and a little caramelized (cook covered ~5-10 minutes over medium-low heat, then remove cover and let liquid evaporate and zucchini caramelize, ~5 minutes).  You can add thyme or another fresh herb with the zukes now, if you'd like. 

4. Lightly beat three eggs, add salt and pepper.  Add shredded cheese and mix into the eggs.

5. Slice cherry tomatoes in half or slice regular tomatoes into rounds.

6. Assemble tart.  Place pie crust into a pie pan.  Put cooked zucchini mixture into base of crust and spread evenly.  Pour cheesy egg mixture over the zukes.  Place cherry tomatoes on top of the egg mix, cut side up (alternatively, layer tomato slices around the top of the egg mix).

7. Bake at 450°F for about 25-35 minutes.  Check to make sure a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool a few minutes to allow the cheese and egg to set, then slice and serve.

Enjoy!  Quick, before summer disappears!

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