Confession of an ex-food snob #17: I used to think, “If it ain’t made from scratch, it ain’t worth eating.” I know, I know, shame on me. With age comes wisdom (I think and hope). In my 20’s when I really got into cooking, I was a farmer’s market-shopping, expensive cookbook-reading, so-what-if-dinner-takes-all-day-it’s-worth-it, home cook. Then again, I was living at home rent-free, had a wonderful job that paid my bills and left me with plenty of fun money to buy pricey ingredients and cookware. In my 30’s I got married, gained a mortgage, had a baby and things got real. Don’t get me wrong, I still love farmer’s markets and believe seasonal eating is the best, but I’m nearly as crazy adamant about my “food rules” as I used to be. I’ve learned – and am still learning – that a few shortcuts never hurt anyone and can make the day-to-day a heck of a lot easier, especially when juggling work, a toddler and a household.
Case in point: Zucchini Onion Pie. I first had this dish at a friend’s house, who, like me, loves good food, good wine and didn’t bat an eye at doing all her grocery shopping at Whole Foods before she had her son. I’d taken my son over to her home for lunch one afternoon to catch up and let the boys play together. She served an amazing Argentinian “picada” of cheeses and meats followed by a delicious soufflé-like entrée full of zucchini, onions and cheese. Later that week I emailed her for the recipe knowing my husband would love it, too. What really stands out about her response was that she got the recipe from “a magazine with simple, budget-friendly meals my mom gave me that I used to turn my nose up at.” Talk about looking in the mirror! And one of the ingredients? Bisquick! I hadn’t bought baking mix in years! Most of the ingredients are pantry-staples, and everything comes together very quickly. It’s absolutely perfect for any night of the week as well as for serving for company.
As for the wine, I’ll go with 2013 Vermentino each and every time I make this. As far as the title of this blog goes, what I mean by “fancy” wine is that Ponte’s last three vintages of Vermentino wine have won gold medals at every international wine competition they have been entered in. Yes, it’s that good. But that doesn’t mean it is not to be served with any spring dish you love…even if it calls for Bisquick. The crisp acidity and refreshing qualities of Vermentino work beautifully with the sweet onion and tangy cheese flavors of this dish. Add a green salad and this is a perfect spring meal. I hope you enjoy as much as my family and I have!
Zucchini Onion Pie
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup grated cheese – Parmesan, feta, goat are all good choices, or use a mix of cheeses
- ½ cup canola oil – I often use a mix of ¼ cup olive oil and ¼ cup canola
- 1 Tbsp minced parsley
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 cup biscuit/baking mix – like Bisquick
- 2 cups thinly sliced zucchini
- 1 onion, sliced – you can also use shallots, scallions or a mix of these
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cheese, oil, parsley, salt, pepper and Bisquick. Set aside. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté onions and zucchini until onions are translucent and zucchini begins to soften. Remove from heat and fold into the egg/cheese mixture. Pour batter into a greased 9-inch pie dish. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until lightly browned. Serves 6.
*Recipe note: I often will grate the zucchini instead of slicing it. This keeps my toddler son from picking the zucchini out of his portion!
–What is your favorite recipe not made from scratch?