A lot of things are unavailable, uncertain and unbearable this summer but not zucchini. Nope! There they are as right as rain in my garden, the healthy plants churning out zucchini with no shortages in sight!
My usual plan is to pick them small and pick them often, since tuba size ones are dry, mealy, full of seeds and only good for the compost pile. The second plan is to decide what to cook with them; so many choices and so short a season. Each year I try to add some new recipes to my inventory of tried and true. This is the year of grated zucchini for savory pies like this one. It may become my new normal for cooking with zucchini.
Savory Summer Zucchini Pie
10 x 2- inch pie pan or casserole dish
1 sheet prepared frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/3 cup olive oil
6 cups grated zucchini
1 medium onion, minced or grated
1 cup chopped ham
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 large eggs
1 cup light cream
¼ cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven 375F
Roll the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 14 inch diameter and line the pie pan; cut any excess dough away at the rim and use to make some decorative shapes for the top if desired. Set pan aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add zucchini and onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring often until the zucchini begins to brown and give off some of its water. Transfer zucchini onion mixture to a bowl (there should be about 4 cups of cooked zucchini) and add ham, cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and cream together until well blended. Whisk in the flour. Pour over the zucchini mixture and combine well.
Pour mixture into pie pan and even the filling. Add puff pastry shapes to top if desired. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a butter knife comes out clean when inserted into the center. Cool on rack; serve warm cut into wedges.
More zucchini recipes at www.ciaoitalia.com