Sunday, August 19, 2007

Making Grandma's Zucchini Pie My Own

If there's any question where my cooking/baking gene came from, one need look no farther than my father's mother, Grandma Jean. Growing up, my brother and I would fly down (or drive with my father) to Florida to visit his parents. Grandma would invariably send us home with freshly made blintzes, marble cake and other delicacies. She would trick me into eating fish by covering it in tomato sauce and sprinkling it with mozzarella cheese.

When my grandfather died in March, John and I flew to Florida for the funeral. After the mourners had left and I had a moment of Grandma Jean's time, I felt that maybe she wanted to talk about something else. She did. We talked about cooking, and she asked me to take down her recipe box for a look at some of her gems.

My father had bought a copier/fax/printer for Grandma's house some time ago, when he was spending extended days/weeks with his parents and needed to move documents around. I took advantage of the machine and photocopied a few of my favorite Grandma Jean recipes. True to form for ladies of her age group (in their 90s), many important items were left out of the recipes as well as directions.

As I read over her recipe for Zucchini Pie, I discovered that I'd have to punt. Here's the recipe as best as I could piece it together, with some additional ingredients and a change in the cheeses. Also, in her original recipe, she used the refrigerated dinner rolls that come in a tube. I used a pre-baked pie shell. If you're making your pie from scratch, just remember to prebake your pie crust since this is more like a vegetable quiche than anything else.

All I can say about the veggie pie is that it's very tasty, easy to make, and a big hit with visitors. Thanks Grandma Jean!


1/2 vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
2 scallions, sliced thinly
5 medium-sized mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 summer squash, chopped
1/2 large eggplant, cubed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
2 eggs beaten well
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly
2 teaspoons mustard
1 cup chopped zucchini, with skin

1 pre-baked pie shell


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil and the spices (except the basil) together for 2 minutes on medium.
3. Add the garlic, shallot, scallions and onions and sweat until the onions are translucent.
4. Add the mushrooms and plum tomatoes, cooking until the tomatoes just start to break.

5. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook until they are tender. Let cool for 10 minutes.

6. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the shredded cheese.

7. Add the cooked vegetables and the basil to the egg mixture and mix well.

8. Pour the mixture into your pie shell and bake until it forms a crust on top. Cover the edges with foil, if the edges get too brown.

Cut into 12 pieces and enjoy!


Anonymous said...

This looks like such a great recipe to use the summer's bounty, however I could not find the number of eggs you used.

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks a bunch! Thanks also for catching my mistake. I've gone back and corrected the recipe. It was 2 eggs beaten well. So sorry for leaving them out!

Anonymous said...

Well I was anxious to try it because I had all the vegies, so I used 4 eggs and modified it with 50% fat pepper jack cheese and a purchased organic, whole-wheat crust (first time). It was outstanding and met with rave reviews.

Thanks also for introducing me to agave nectar. It opened up a whole new baking world to me and I look forward to your first cook book.

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks! It really is a tasty pie. Pepper jack would be a good addition. Glad yours was a big hit!

You're welcome on the agave nectar. It's really made a difference in my dessert life.