Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tomato, Zucchini & Basil Quiche for Pie Palooza

Pie Palooza is a benefit for REAP. Last fall I helped out with their Food for Thought festival; I'll probably do that again this year. This year the pie palooza was especially fun, because it was held at a new restaurant attached to a pasta factory - RP's pasta, and the Fork & Spoon Cafe. I think the owner, Peter, is on the REAP Board right now. Anyways, it's a great facility, I talked to Peter about cooking special dinners there, before I bought the supper club house. He was around today, he made some good pie, a vegan peach pie, and a spaghetti & panacetta quiche. He has a lot of good toys, like the immersion blender as big as a post-hole digger that he was using to puree tomatoes in a sauce.

I made Zucchini, Tomato & Basil Quiche. Some of the other offerings were rather difficult to serve, like the deep dish, pit-in cherry pie, and the very soupy, also deep dish, rabbit & leek pie. But I am sure everything tasted great.

For three: (I made 6)
2 sticks of unsalted butter
3 cups unbleached white flour
2 TBLS sugar
dash of salt
ice water

4 TBLS butter
3 cups chopped onion
3-4 medium zucchini, quartered longwise and chopped into roughly 1 in. chunks
4 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
6 ounces crumbled feta
1 cup grated provolone
a large handful of roughly chopped fresh basil
9 large eggs
3 cups of half & half

Cut the butter and flour together, and add the salt & sugar. I like to use a mixer for this, but you can use a pastry blender, a food processor, 2 knives, or your fingers. When you have a mixture that looks like coarse meal, add the water, while mixing, just until it clumps, probably 1/3 - 1/2 cups. Gather the dough into a large ball, and divide it into three disks. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour, or until you can get back to it.

Melt the butter in a large deep skillet. Add the onions, salt & pepper, and cook over medium low heat until the onions are soft and translucent (you can start rolling out the crusts while the onions cook). Stir in the zucchini, and continue to cook until the zucchini is also starting to become translucent. Add the tomatoes, mix well, and turn off the heat.

Make a layer of grated provolone in the bottom of each crust. Add 1/3 of the zucchini mixture, and then top with feta. Scatter basil on top of the feta. Break the eggs into a large bowl, and beat with a fork or a whisk until the whites and yolks are well combined, then beat in the half & half. Pour the custard over the vegetables and cheese in your crusts, dividing evenly.

Bake at 375 ° until puffed and golden brown, 20 - 35 minutes. Eat warm.

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