Crustless Summer Squash, Zucchini and Tomato “Pie”

tart1

A savory slice is oh so nice!

What a couple of weeks it has been…

This is our tree, you can see how the lightning circled it before it jumped to the chimney cap.

This is our tree, you can see how the lightning circled it before it jumped to the chimney cap.

When lightning strikes it does such weird things. Our experience has run the gamut from the usual burnout of electronics which one would expect, to the current running through the metal spines of a silk lampshade and tearing the silk out of it…which one would not expect! We’ll be repairing, cleaning soot and painting here for the next few months, and we were so lucky it wasn’t any worse.

Our chimney...8 feet of it is on the ground!

Our chimney…8 feet of it is on the ground! We sleep with our heads right next to where the chimney meets the top roof line.

Life goes on and mercifully we are here to experience and talk about it. And eventually you get back into the kitchen again and things begin to feel more normal.

Layers, layers and more layers are the key to this crustless pie.

Layers, layers and more layers are the key to this crustless pie.

Today I’m sharing a tasty and easy dish using some of summer’s bounty. This squash, zucchini and tomato pie is crustless, which makes it lighter than a traditional tart or pie, and perfect to serve as an entree with a salad or as a side dish for a meal. The “crust” in this dish is made by the slight caramelization of the bottom and sides of the squash in the oiled skillet, and the melted cheese. It holds together very well and has a wonderful, fresh flavor. I do love squash and am always looking for ways to feature it when it’s in season, and this little dish made me very happy…plus I got to use my cast iron skillet, which is always a bonus!

Pan pie, c'est tout!

Pan pie, c’est tout!

I hope you all have been doing well while I was away, and that you had wonderful and relaxing weekends and holidays. I am slowly getting around to visit all of you and catch up, so bear with me. Have a great week, and happy eating.

Crustless Summer Squash, Zucchini and Tomato Pie
Serves 4

This pie was inspired by my Squash and Tomato Galette from last year, but is much quicker and lighter because there’s no crust!

1 lb. yellow summer (I used crookneck) squash, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 large zucchini, trimmed and thinly sliced
3-4 roma tomatoes, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
zest of one lemon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sprigs of fresh basil for edible garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in the bottom of a 10-inch cast iron or ovenproof skillet and grease the bottom and sides well.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese, the lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, basil and egg until well blended.

Place 1/2 of the yellow squash slices into the bottom of the pan in a single layer, slightly overlapping each other. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, then dollop 1/3 of the cheese and herb mixture over the layer of squash, spreading it slightly to cover. Next, layer 1/2 of the roma tomato slices over the squash layer and sprinkle with 1/2 of the minced garlic, a pinch of salt and some pepper, and drizzle over 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil. Make a single layer of the zucchini over the tomato layer, overlapping the slices. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt and pepper, dollop 1/3 of the cheese and herb mixture on top, spreading as before.

Make one more layer of the tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil, then top with a final layer of yellow squash mixed with any remaining zucchini, salt, pepper and the remaining cheese and herb mixture. Sprinkle the top with the remaining parmesan cheese and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 35 – 40 minutes, watching closely, until the top is browned, the whole is bubbling and the vegetables are tender when a knife is inserted through to the bottom. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut into four wedges and serve with a sprig of fresh basil on top.

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44 thoughts on “Crustless Summer Squash, Zucchini and Tomato “Pie”

  1. That storm sounds horrific I hope you are all ok and safe my friend!
    Nothing better to relax those nerves by eating this delicious crustless quiche, I love the summery flavours and look 🙂

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  2. The image of the poor tree is amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. And you have to replace all your electronics! What a lot of damage but like you say, the main thing is you’re all okay and your home survived. I love the look of your crustless quiche filled with the season’s most fresh produce xx

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    • I have heard from some other people that they’ve seen this strike pattern before on trees, but we had not. It’s a process, but we will get it all back together here in the next few months. Glad you like my “pie.” 🙂

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  3. Wow, I have never seeing a lightning struck tree before! I thought of you the other day when we had to do some repairs here at home. So glad you are on your way to getting everything sorted.
    I absolutely love your pie! Fabulous idea.
    🙂 Mandy xo

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    • It’s a pretty fearsome sight, Mandy! I hope your repairs are not serious. Thanks for your kind words on my little pie…it was tasty and I will be making it again when I have more squash. 🙂

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  4. I’m stunned by the photos and and the realisation of “what could have been” is ever more obvious. Thank goodness it wasn’t. Glad you are able to start getting back to normal, being able to cook for and feed your loved ones is a soothing experience and this is a beautiful pie. As soon as our garden “delivers” I’ll definitely be making this one 🙂 Take good care of yourself.

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    • These images were all after we were “cleaned up” as most of the initial footage is on video, but considering our heads were on the other side of that remaining chimney, what could have been is pretty scary. We are counting our blessings over here to be sure. 🙂 I agree, cooking is a soothing experience and it is also grounding, especially in times of turmoil. I hope you get a bumper crop this year, Tanya!

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  5. How wonderfully simple and tasty. I hope when i get home our zuchinni are growing, it was so cold again they all stopped, what a strange summer.. but lovely up herein the mountains. The shot of the tree is deeply unsettling, and the fingers of that storm will be in every pie for quite some time.. take care and have a lovely day.. c

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    • Yes, you put your finger(s) on it exactly! 🙂 Still, I have to be thankful that WE have all of our own fingers and toes after this. It’ll all be good in time. Pat your horse for me today, will ya?

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  6. That tree sent shivers down my spine. So relieved to know that only your house was hit. Just today a million dollar home in the burbs was afire after a lightning strike hit its roof. It was severely damaged but, luckily, the family got out. I’m glad to things are going well enough that you can post again. And this is such a great dish to share, too, Betsy. It’s a true celebration of the season’s produce and I bet delicious, too. I cannot wait to see these veggies in our markets!

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    • I’m so glad to hear that the family got out of that house, John. Believe me, I have a new respect for lightning. We actually sleep with our heads right under where the chimney meets the top roofline…I forgot to put that in the caption. We’re lucky it stayed up there and didn’t fall through. These storms are really scary this year. I’m so glad you like the dish, it’s such an easy way to enjoy some of the produce of summer!

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  7. Goodness, it’s good to put some pictures to the story. It must have been so scary! My grandmother had a tree in her garden which was struck by lightning… was so weird – one entire vertical section of the tree was dead and stripped of bark but the other parts were completely ok, even after many years.

    The pie looks great Betsy – zucchini and tomato is a lovely mix – I put them in a tart last year, though that one was with a crust.

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    • That is really weird about your grandmother’s tree. We hate taking down trees, but I fear this one is compromised and I don’t want to find out the hard way! You know, Charles, you just don’t even know what’s happening when lightning strikes. First two loud concussive explosions with a huge blinding flash of light (and we were asleep so this is how we awakened), then rising smoke and then smoke alarms going off. We and the firemen were sure the house was on fire, but fortunately it was not. Just some smoldering at the top of the chimney, and lots of soot and ash. So, so lucky.

      I usually use a crust for a pie of course, which is so nice, but this was lovely, too. Much lighter than a squash casserole or a quiche. 🙂

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  8. Good to hear you are safe, it must have been a huge strike! The way it circled the tree is fascinating but scary!
    And I’ve saved the recipe – perfect for summer and I know my partner will adore it, thank you

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    • Yes, it is and was scary. That tree is nearly 100 feet tall and the strike starts at the top and comes all the way down to 15 feet about the ground…where it then leapt to the chimney cap. Would prefer to not go through that again! Hope you enjoy the recipe Claire. 🙂

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  9. How fabulous! This is indeed the time of year when zucchini is starting to get out of control so I’m always looking for good (and creative) ways to use it up. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  10. I am so glad that damage was only to your trees and your roof as all of that is replaceable, but not our sweet little Betsy. Love that simple and colorful harvest of vegetables and fritatta. Great low carb meal. I hope all the repairs go smoothly. Take Care, BAM

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  11. Good to see you posting again. Was thinking of you and wondering if you were happy with the insurance adjuster and the mason and how the repairs were coming along.
    I shudder to think what could have happened if that tree was not there. You have tons of work ahead of you but do take some “chill out” time.
    Adding your pie to my to do list. Take care.

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    • Hey Norma. No, we’re not too happy with our adjuster…a long story I won’t bore you with, but we are still “negotiating” and repairs haven’t started yet. I hate to have to take the my hero tree down, but alas, it took a mortal blow and sooner or later will come down on its own…we don’t want it to hit the house. Am trying to get some chill time in…next weekend I will be taking a little breather for sure. Thanks for your good thoughts!

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  12. I’ve been absolutely swamped and have totally been neglecting my blogging duties, I do hope you’ll forgive me in the coming weeks. We had some business changes but in August I hope to have some more free time.
    Yikes that lightening is creepy, I can’t believe it circled that tree; and to take the silk right out of the lampshade is just plain sic-fi weird. Glad it didn’t cause a fire in your home.
    The summer pie looks and sounds perfect, I am sitting waiting for the chicken to come of the BBQ and am absolutely starving. Wish I had a slice of your gorgeous pie.

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  13. Oh, my gosh, Betsy, thank goodness you didn’t have more catastrophic repercussions! I feel just so sick about this.. I’m so happy you are all safe and sound, that your world is getting back to normal. What an awful scare for you! I love your recipe.. I have a little skillet just like that for recipes like yours:) xx

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    • Thank you Barb, we are doing fine. About to enter the rebuilding of the chimney and taking down of the tree phase, followed by repainting. Hopefully it will all be done by September or so! I love my skillet and try to use it as often as I can! 😉

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  14. Recipe looks great! I pinned it and I think it’ll be on the menu next week after a trip to the farmer’s market. That lightning pic is crazy. We had storms here last week that only lasted a short time but they were fierce and the lightning was insane.

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    • Thank you, and I’m so glad you like the recipe. Let me know if you like the dish if you try it! Yes, we had a lot more lightning last night, and now i’m even more gun shy over it. What a weather year!

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    • Thank you, Mary Frances. I’m glad you like the looks of this pie. It’s pretty yummy if I do say so myself. And thanks also for your good wishes. We were so lucky, and are about to start work on taking down the poor tree (I hope, if we can get someone over here) and rebuilding the chimney.

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  15. Pingback: Happy 4th of July! Happy Weekend! | bits and breadcrumbs

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