By using a premade pie crust, you’ll have this savory pie out of the oven and on your table in under an hour.
Dad meant business when it came to his garden. Each year, the garden came together starting in February when he sprouted ideas for what he’d grow. Once the ground was thawed (usually early March), he’d get to work on prepping soil. Sometimes, he’d start seedlings on our kitchen windowsill. After Easter (certainly by mid-April), the plants were put into the ground in tidy rows, all according to his plan.
Squirrels feared him. Birds knew to keep out of his garden, but Dad provided a bird bath and feeder that he always kept stocked with clean water and plenty of seed. It’s like he and the birds had an agreement to share this oasis otherwise known as our back yard.
This fastidious care always yielded bumper crops of ruby red tomatoes, colorful peppers, tender green beans, delicate lettuce, and versatile zucchini. I say versatile because Mom used this veggie in just about everything from her summer kitchen. Zucchini bread. Zucchini pickles. Zucchini relish. Stuffed zucchini. Breaded and fried zucchini. Sautéed zucchini. Well, you get the idea.
She knew cooking with the season was not only delicious, it was economically smart. So as Dad’s squash plants continued cranking out the supply, Mom cooked with zucchini. This Easy Zucchini Quiche is a variation on a savory pie we made. It’s a wonderful light supper for summer, but it also works as part of a brunch menu. This vegetable main course is a great choice for your Meatless Monday table, too.
For this recipe, you’ll need:
3 medium zucchini
1 large onion
2 cups shredded mozzarella
salt, pepper, Italian seasoning
fresh thyme and as an optional garnish, fresh sweet basil
1 premade pie crust or pie shell
Now, I don’t believe my granny ever used a pie crust that came from the grocery store. She always made her own. And because we’re friends, I’ll share her recipe should you want to make it for your zucchini quiche.
Crisco Pie Crust
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup Crisco
½ teaspoon salt
Sift flour and salt together and cut Crisco into flour with knife until fine pebbles form. Use fingers to finish blending. Add cold water gradually, mixing with a knife to make a stiff paste. Form quickly with hands into dough and roll out on a floured surface about ¼ inch thick. Makes one pie crust.
However, today’s refrigerated pie crusts and shells are more than suitable substitutes (in my opinion; sorry Bubba) in many applications. It’s a nifty kitchen hack that saves a bit of time without sacrificing taste.
The other tweak I made to the recipe was adding the dollop of prepared yellow mustard. I love the tang of this condiment, and it just goes well in an egg dish. I also added the fresh thyme and garnish of basil (although I forgot to add it before taking the photo; DUH). Curiously, for all of Dad’s gardening capabilities, he never grew fresh herbs.
Back to the zucchini quiche. As the main course, I like larger slices, so this probably would feed six people. Recently, we paired the zucchini quiche with a quick Caesar salad (quick meaning I dressed the lettuce with Marie’s Caesar dressing. Because I cook for two people, there were leftovers, which were enjoyed the next day at breakfast. If this is part of a brunch with multiple dishes on the buffet, you could get 8 slices out of the quiche.
Of course, quiche is familiar to most of us; although I didn’t know until recently that it dates to the 13th century German kingdom of Lothringen (that place sounds like something Tolkien would come up with).
But fresh vegetables and herbs introduced to eggs and cheese are a beautiful thing, and the mustard wakens up the flavors. Whether you go to your garden to your farmers market for the squash, give this easy zucchini quiche a try. Let me know what you think!