I have a confession to make: I am a CSA dropout.
For the past few weeks, I’d been placing orders with an organic produce delivery service. I loved the idea of having local produce delivered straight to my doorstep without having to go to the store (because let’s face it, lack of motivation usually gets the best of me). I was excited to discover new produce that I may not have been familiar with. I was happy to be supporting local farms and farmers and reducing my carbon footprint. What’s not to like, right?
As it turns out, at least half of the produce in my box was not local. Some of it even came from as far as Mexico. Some of the fruit we received began to turn within a couple of days. A lot of the time, we couldn’t get through the vegetables before they started to go too. And I really, truly missed packing the Fruitaholic into the stroller and spending the morning at one of our local farmer’s markets. So when Lindsey of Our Share of the Harvest announced that this month’s What’s Baking theme would be “Bake Local,” I did just that.
We picked out fresh zucchini from a farm out of Indiana, carrots and spinach from Michigan, and tomatoes and sweet corn from downstate. And the basil was just about as local as I could get: my very own backyard. I took our bounty home in my reusable tote and created a dish that was just perfect for sitting outside on our deck and enjoying our summer evening.
Summer Vegetable Pie – adapted from Real Simple
- 3 Zucchini, grated
- 4 Carrots, grated
- 1 Tbsp. Salt
- 1 Ear of Corn, kernels removed
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I used Cabot Extra Sharp)
- 6 Egg Whites
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan, grated
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
- 1 tsp. Baking Powder
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 1 Tomato, sliced thin
- Basil, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350.
Grate the zucchini and carrots and sprinkle with the 1 Tbsp. salt in order to draw out the moisture. There are a few methods that you can use. You can line a plate with paper towels and squeeze out the moisture, press out the moisture through a fine mesh sieve/colander, or give it a few spins through a salad spinner. I was able to draw out more than a cup of liquid.
Return the zucchini and carrots to a large bowl and combine with remaining ingredients except for the tomatoes.
Transfer the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate that has been coated with cooking spray. Top with sliced tomatoes and additional parmesan, if desired. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh basil. Cool 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Sweet Mustard Vinaigrette – adapted from Reluctant Gourmet
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Stone Ground Mustard
- 1 Tbsp. Agave Nectar
- 5 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- Dried Herbs of your choice – ~2 Tbsp. (I used Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle)
Combine garlic, vinegar, mustard and agave nectar in a small bowl. Whisk in oil. Add spices, to taste. Keep refrigerated when not in use.
Place a bed of spinach on a plate and dress with the vinaigrette. Top with a slice of Summer Vegetable Pie.