Corn, Zucchini, and Tomato Pie

On Thursday we were summoned, via an emergency phone call, down to south Jersey again. The family emergency continues, sadly—I don’t mean to be so oblique about it, I’m just struggling with the appropriate way to write about recent events. At some point soon I do intend to fill you all in on what’s happening. For now, though, I’m finding it much easier to focus on the food, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

After a few days of takeout and quickly-eaten restaurant meals, we returned home to a kitchen full of recently-acquired, though no longer particularly fresh, seasonal produce: corn on the cob, big, juicy tomatoes (one of which had exploded and begun to ferment in the horrific heat of our airless, sun-flooded kitchen), zucchini, all on the verge of being useless. If you’ve been reading Words to Eat By regularly, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been cooking with these ingredients A LOT lately—naturally I have, it’s late summer, when they’re all abundant and at their peak. But frankly, I’m getting a little tired of them, especially in combination. I’ve sautéed them, salsaed them, roasted them, eaten them raw. The thought of building yet another dinner out of these three ingredients had me a little nonplussed. But I couldn’t very well just throw them away, and—I’m serious—it didn’t look like they could wait another day. So I trolled through my cookbooks, tried to Cook with Google, and finally turned to the always-interesting database that is Epicurious.

That’s where I found the idea for this lovely casserole. I tweaked their recipe a bit, as I always do, and was quite pleased with the results. The crunchy parmesan-bread crumb topping somehow transforms these simple vegetables into a substantial main course. Paired with a salad, it was another wonderful, healthy, all-vegetable dinner. S and I both had seconds, and the leftovers were great cold the next day.

We are now officially out of corn, tomatoes, and zucchini. But on Wednesday I’ll be hitting the Union Square farmer’s market, and I’m sure they’ll find their way into my shopping bags yet again.

Corn, Zucchini, and Tomato Pie
Adapted from Epicurious
Serves 6

3 T. olive oil, divided
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
kernels from 3 ears of corn
2 medium zucchini, cut into matchstick pieces
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon each fresh basil and mint, chopped
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch slices
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Heat 1 ½ t. olive oil in a skillet, and caramelize the onions. In a 13 by 9-inch ovenproof baking dish, combine the onions, corn, zucchini, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, the herbs, and ½ t. more oil, tossing to coat the vegetables.

Cover the vegetables with the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the cheese and the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture over the tomatoes and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Bake the pie for 30-35 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling. Remove it from the oven, and let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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