Friday, September 30, 2011

Cherry Tomato,Bocconcini, and Zucchini Pie

Martha Stewart Living, October 2005
  • Yield Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped shallot, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 small zucchini, 7 1/2 ounces, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick half moons
  • 1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes, plus cherry tomatoes on the vine for garnish
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces bocconcini
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Cheese Short Crust, made with Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolk


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden and liquid has been released, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
  2. Halve one-third of the tomatoes. Stir halved and whole tomatoes, cheeses, basil, lemon zest, flour, and sugar into shallot-zucchini mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 13-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Make seven 3-inch-long cuts around edge of dough, evenly spacing. Trim to make 7 rounded flaps. Transfer to a 10-inch pie plate. Drizzle crust with remaining tablespoon oil. Spread with filling. Fold in flaps of crust, slightly overlapping. Put tomatoes on the vine in center. Refrigerate until cold, about 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk cream and egg yolk in a small bowl. Brush crust with egg wash. Bake pie on a rimmed baking sheet until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 45 minutes.
When I initially found this recipe, I didn't know the first thing about bocconcini. Then, I skimmed down to the ingredients list and saw that is was mozzarella balls, plain and simple. I was happy to know that I didn't have to drive all over town to find this ingredient.   

This recipe is not a fast, but it is worth the effort because the flavors are so good.  Fresh basil, garlic, tomatoes, cheese, and zucchini are blended together in a buttery pie shell.  Delicious? Absolutely. 

Photo Gallery

Gabriel and I went into the garden and gathered some Purple Opal Basil.
 Sarah helped grate the Parmesan.
These tomatoes are from our garden.  They still felt warm from the sun. 
This egg is from one of my mother-in-law's Araucana chickens.  I love the color!
With my direct supervision, Gabriel helped cook the zucchini.  This is an heirloom zucchini from our garden.  Once prodigious, they are now getting scarce as the season is ending.  
After we lightly browned the zucchini, we added the the whole tomatoes, cheeses, basil, lemon zest, flour, and sugar into the shallot-zucchini mixture.
Next, Sarah helped to make the pie crust. 
Okay, so I was really confused about this part.  The recipe said to make seven, three-inch-long cuts around the dough.  I've never tried this technique before, but I'm assuming it helps with the folding of the dough. The picture below is before we trimmed the edges.  The nice thing about this recipe is that the dough gets folded over so the imperfections are not noticeable.
And then I had to move the dough from the cutting board to the pie dish.  I was a little nervous.  In fact, it fell apart the first time so I had to roll it out again.  One corner just flopped off.  I was able to press the edge back into the pie dough so I was very relieved. 
Everything was now in the pie.
Before the pie went into the oven, I whisked the egg yolk and the heavy cream together in a bowl. Then, I brushed the crust with the egg wash to assist with the browning.
Our side dish was sauteed Swiss chard with walnuts.  This was our last bunch of chard from the garden.  Luckily, tiny, new seedlings are beginning to sprout.
Dinner made its was onto the table.
The walnuts added a wonderful, nutty flavor and texture to the greens.
We couldn't wait to have a slice of this pie!
Everyone was gathered around the table and they were ready to eat.  Ben loved this dinner and the kids enjoyed it because of the cheese. It was rewarding to sit back and enjoy a meal that was grown by  hand with very little impact on our environment.

~Dinner Was Served~

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