Italian Zucchini Pie

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Want dinner tonight and dinner for later? This is a great recipe for that! It’s already enough for 2 zucchini pies, which taste a million times better than they sound. My two year old is still talking about Zucchini Pie. And we have another one in the freezer ready to go whenever we need it. Here we go.

Yields 2 pies; Each pie serves at least 4 (Weight Watchers Points based on 4 servings per pie)
Adapted from Simply in Season

Crust Ingredients:
1/4 c warm water
1 Tb active dry yeast
1/4 c milk
1 Tb olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
2 c bread flour

1. Mix warm water and dry yeast until it dissolves. Set aside.
2. Combine milk, oil, and egg in a mixing bowl. Add dissolved yeast and stir.
3. Blend in wheat flour, cheese, salt, and basil.
4. Add 1/2 c bread flour at a time to make a smooth but slightly sticky dough.
5. Place dough in a well greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and place in a warm place while preparing zucchini filling.

Filling Ingredients:
1/4 c butter
8 cups zucchini, thinly sliced
1.5 c onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tb fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 Tb fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp each dried thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
5 large eggs, beaten
4 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 tsp specialty mustard
1/4 c Parmesan cheese

1. Melt butter in frying pan over medium heat. Add zucchini and onions and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a very large bowl.
2. Stir into large bowl the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper.
3. Combine eggs and mozzarella in a separate bowl, then stir into zucchini mixture.

Back to the crust and putting it all together…
1. Divide dough in half. Place each half on a lightly floured surface and roll into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
2. Set each into a lightly greased 10 inch pie dish and crimp edges as you would a pie crust.
3. Spread the bottoms and sides of pie crusts with mustard.
4. Divide the zucchini mixture between the two crusts. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top.
5. Bake in preheated oven at 375 until center is set, about 18-20 minutes. (To test if set, jiggle pie after time. If it is mostly solid, you should be good.) Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

I recommend eating one and freezing the other, unless you’ve got lots of mouths to feed. If you let it cool completely and have greased the pan well enough, it should be sturdy enough that you can pop it out of the pie pan and slip it into a gallon freezer bag. It’ll hold its shape and be good for you whenever you need a quick meal to just reheat.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 10

The piece our 2 year old ate.

The piece our 2 year old ate.

The crust is amazing!

The crust is amazing!

Greek & Sausage Fennel Skillet

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I tried playing around with fennel a few times last year to use up what we got in our CSA, but I have to admit, I sort of hated it. That’s why I was *so excited* when I made this dish and it turned out to be one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. The original recipe is more of a side item with no protein except the cheese, but I wanted to use up some of the sausage I had in the freezer. I’ve made this dish twice using two different kinds of sausage– Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sausage first and sweet Italian sausage the second time. I would highly recommend the former, as odd as it may seem. Both times were delicious, but there was something extra rich about the breakfast sausage that just felt so savory and plain yummy. The other plug I’ll make for this dish is that it makes *excellent* leftovers for lunch at work the next couple of days.

(Adapted from Simply in Season Greek Fennel Skillet)

Serves: 5

1/2 lb sausage (breakfast or sweet Italian)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tb avocado oil
2 medium fennel bulbs, sliced
1 large onion, julienned
1 Tb lemon juice
3 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded (if you want to go super Greek, you can use feta instead)
1/2 cup olives (I used garlic stuffed ones)

1.) In a medium sized pan, brown sausage.
2.) In a large frying pan saute garlic in olive oil for about a minute.
3.) Add fennel and onion and saute until tender, 5-10 minutes.
4.) Add lemon juice and tomatoes and cook over medium heat until part of liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Pepper to taste. Partway through, add in the sausage.
5.) Stir in cheese.
6.) Slice olives 3/4 of the way through and fan olives out as a garnish on top.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 9

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Broccoli Rabe and Fennel with Sweet Italian Sausage

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Ingredients:
1 Tb olive oil
1 green garlic
1 fennel bulb (tops cut off & sliced)
1 bunch broccoli rabe (rinsed, cut into thirds)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
dash of salt
3 links of sweet Italian sausage

(Minutes to prepare 5)
(Minutes to Cook 20)

(Adapted from Spark Recipes Broccoli Rabe & Fennel)

1.) Cook sausage and slice into small segments.
2.) Heat large skillet on medium heat; add Olive Oil and Garlic. Stir 30 seconds – 1 minute, until fragrant.
3.) Trim the Fennel Bulb of the tops and trim bottom. Cut into slices. Saute, turning frequently unti soft- about 5 – 7 min.
4.) Add Broccoli Rabe and cover to steam just about 5 – 7 minutes until leaves are bright green and stems are tender.
5.) Uncover and sprinkle red pepper flakes and salt to taste before serving.
6.) Mix in sliced sausage pieces.

The flavor was great, especially the fennel, which I had never cooked before. I think the broccoli Rabe was the weak link, mostly because the stalks were kind of stringy and got stuck in our teeth. I might chop the stems up in smaller segments if I were to make this again.