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Zucchini Tomato Pie with Hash Brown Crust and Pimento Cheese

Zucchini and tomato pie


Hash Brown Crust
  • 5 russet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated kept in water
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
Tomato Jam
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pimento Cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 pounds grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • cups mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 10 ounces roasted bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 Spanish onion, grated
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper ground
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup baby zucchini, sliced thin lengthwise on a mandolin
  • 1 cup baby summer squash, sliced thin lengthwise on a mandoline
  • 1 cup baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 8 squash blossoms
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large handful basil, for garnish

Chef notes

Nothing says summer like a gorgeous pie, but this one has a twist. First off, it's a savory pie filled with a colorful mix of fresh seasonal produce including baby zucchini and summer squash, heirloom tomatoes and squash blossoms. Secondly, a quick whipped pimento cheese gives the creamy and cheesy filling a delicious tangy flavor. Finally, it's baked into a crispy shredded hash brown crust.  


For the hash brown crust:


Preheat the oven to 425F.


Drain the potatoes in a sieve and run cold water over them until the water runs clear. Place the potatoes in a clean tea towel and ring out. Lay the tea towel down and press a second clean tea towel over the top to release any extra moisture. It is very important that the potatoes are super dry and free of moisture.


Place the potatoes in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, and salt and pepper, mix to combine. Coat cast iron pan or 10-inch tart or quiche pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Place the potatoes in the pan and using the end of a glass push the potatoes firmly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake until golden and crispy, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

For the tomato jam:

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook until the shallots are soft and translucent, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes with juice, sugar, vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Cook over medium heat until almost all of the liquid evaporates and the mixture is reduced to about 2¼ cups, stirring often, about 30 minutes. Cool.

For the pimento cheese:

Place the cream cheese in an electric mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add all of the cheddar, mayo, hot sauce, peppers, onion, salt and pepper and beat until well blended. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate until needed.

For the filling:


In a very hot pan heat 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Add the zucchini and squash and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes—just enough to caramelize one side.


In a medium bowl, whisk the cream, milk and eggs together. Dollop 8 ounces of the pimento cheese over the hashbrown crust, followed by zucchini, squash, tomatoes, squash blossoms and egg mixture.


Reduce the oven temperature to 350F and continue to bake the pie until the egg is just set, about 30 to 35 minutes.


Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Top with 8 ounces of the tomato jam, sprinkle with sea salt and top with the basil.