One of my life goals is to have a huge garden that provides all of our favorite fruits and vegetables. I know eventually we will make it happen! There's just something about putting the work into growing your own food, knowing exactly what is or isn't on/in it, and then enjoying and sharing the product with your friends and family. Dustin and I have been blessed with family and friends that share the bounties from their own gardens. I think you can truly taste the goodness and love so much more in the "home-grown" foods than the produce you get in the grocery.
Every Friday in our town we have a Farmer's Market. I always love going to produce stands or markets. Not only are you supporting local farmers and vendors, but you usually get great products! The one here offers a nice selection of produce, crafts, flowers, and baked goods.
Last week I picked up some gorgeous zinnias. They lasted several days and added so much color and cheerfulness to our home!
This morning I met my friend Hillary there. We both stocked up on some delicious local honey! If you have never tried fresh local honey, do it! You will never go back to the imitation stuff they have in stores-- which is typically a combination of honey and other syrups! When it comes to honey, get the good stuff and shop local! I also picked up some gorgeous sunflowers, fresh peaches, and yummy squash and zucchini.
Speaking of squash and zucchini, you will want to use them in this recipe! Another one of my favorite summer dishes is Vegetable Pie. My Meme makes the best, but this recipe is pretty close to hers! I made this pie yesterday for lunch when some of my dear friends, Rhiannon and Violet, came to visit me. Last minute, I decided to make a homemade gluten-free crust. It wasn't that difficult and I'm glad I did! The recipe for the crust came from simplygluten-free.com. The filling recipe was adapted from Trisha Yearwood's recipe in this month's issue in Better Home's and Gardens.
For the crust:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 1&1/4 cup gluten free flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 - 4 tbsp ice cold water
Pulse the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add the cold butter and pulse until mixture begins to come together and form small pea-shaped pieces. Pour in water a tablespoon at a time until the dough begins to stick together. Remove the dough and form into a ball or disc. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. After the dough has chilled, remove it and place it on a well floured surface. Roll the dough out to fit your pie plate or baking dish. Line the dish and create a pretty edge if you feel inclined to do so.
To blind bake your crust, place wax paper over the dough and fill with dried beans. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 20 minutes. Then remove the wax paper and beans, poke holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork, and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes. Then your crust is ready to fill!
*Note: I had never made a homemade crust before and I was kind of nervous about it. But it wasn't very difficult! If you are in a bind or don't want to make your own, you could easily use a pre-made crust from the store. On the simplygluten-free website, there are several tips, hints, and explanations! Go check it out for more information about crusts. The instructions were really easy and helpful. I didn't follow all of them because I'm a bit of a rebel like that, and thankfully the crust still turned out pretty tasty. A
For the filling:
- 1 tomato, peeled and sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced thin
- 1 squash, sliced thin
- 1/2 onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat oil and garlic in a skilled on the stove over medium heat. Add onion, squash and zucchini. Salt and pepper to your liking. Cook for about 15 minutes until vegetables are tender. While vegetables are cooking, combine mayonnaise with the cheeses and a bit of pepper and basil. Spread a thin layer of the cheese mixture on the bottom of the crust. Next layer the sliced tomatoes, then add the cooked vegetables. Top the vegetables with the remaining cheese mixture and extra cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered for about 40 minutes. Allow time to set before cutting into slices.
*Note: The recipe in the magazine also called for water chestnuts but my Meme never used them and I didn't have them. Also, depending on how small/large your vegetables and baking dishes are, you may need more or less of the vegetables. I probably could have added another squash or zucchini because mine were smaller. Also, I added basil to the recipe and just eyeballed it, maybe it was 1/2 tsp? The moisture of tomatoes make this dish kind of watery. Next time I will probably blot them with a towel for a bit. The thing about recipes is that you can experiment with them and make them you own. Keep notes on what works or doesn't and change them to your tastes!
Do you like going to farmer's markets too? What treasures have you found at yours? What are your favorite summer dishes? I would love to hear from you! I hope you enjoy the goodness of summer produce and try this recipe!
Have a blessed day!