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October 2022: Harvest Fare

Photo by Dylan R.N. Crabb


Some of the best ways to use the abundance of harvest vegetables this season include a tomato tart, a vegetable quiche, and a butternut squash casserole. What’s the difference between a tart and a quiche? The tart is lighter on pastry, eggs, cream and cheese, in favor of fruit or vegetables for fillings. The tart and the quiche do not have pastry toppings, and do not resemble the currently popular galette. A popular misconception may be that a tart is a sweet, not a savory, but the vegetable tart is indeed a wonderful savory dish.

For the vegetarian quiche, consider using fresh local mushrooms in season. Michael Bruce of Taos, is an avid climber and trekker who ventures to the high mountains with his dog every weekend. He gathers chanterelles and precious porcini mushrooms up there. What a fine opportunity to get out and about and also do some personal harvesting for the finest home-cooking.

Tomato Tart


1, 9-inch single crust; or use a store-bought crust rolled into a 11-12-inch round
1-1/2 ripe, juicy tomatoes, preferably Heirloom, but any preferred tomatoes may be used
1/2 C pesto sauce, available in stores if you do not have a fresh one
3/4 C shredded mozzarella cheese (always better shredded fresh from a whole piece)
1 T fresh chopped basil
1 T fresh chopped oregano
3 large eggs
1/3 C cream
1 t kosher salt
1-1/2 t fresh grated black pepper

Heat oven to 350F.
Fit rolled-out dough into 1 9-inch tart pan. Let edges rise to 3/4″ above the rim of the pan. Pinch dough all over with a fork.

Line dough with foil and fill with dried beans.

Bake 15 minutes until dough starts to brown at the edges. Remove from oven. Remove foil and beans.
Increase oven temp to 375F.

Cut tomatoes into 1/2 to 1-inch slices. Place in a colander to drain excess liquids, about 20 minutes.
Spread 1/4 C pesto in the oven-baked crust. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the pesto. Sprinkle basil and oregano over the cheese.

Prepare custard: Whisk eggs, cream, salt and pepper.

Place sliced tomatoes evenly over cheese and tomatoes in overlapping concentric circles.
Pour custard evenly over the tomato slices and swirl evenly to distribute the liquid.

Bake until the filling is set and will not jiggle, about 35 minutes.

Remove and cool before serving warm, or at room temperature.

Selected and adapted from a recipe in The New York Times

Autumn Phase. Vegetarian Quiche


9-inch deep-dish pie crust
1 T olive oil
1/ 2 C sliced onion
1/2 C chopped red or orange bell pepper
1/2 C mushrooms, sliced, your choice for best available
1/2 C chopped zucchini
1 large ripe tomato, sliced
2 t fresh basil, chopped
3 large eggs
1/2C milk
1/t kosher salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 1/4 C shredded cheese, your choice. Colby-Jack, Mozzarella laced with Parmesan or Romano, or Farmer’s laced with Parmesan or Romano

Preheat oven to 400F.

Bake pie crust until firm, 8 min. (see above instructions)

Remove crust and set aside. Reduce oven to 350F.

Heat olive oil in a large iron skillet.

Add onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and zucchini. Cook, stirring until softened, 5 to 7 min. Remove vegetables from skillet and set aside.

Sprinkle tomato slices with flour and basil, cook in the skillet over medium heat for 1 min per side, Set aside.

Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Spread 1 C cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, layer with vegetable mixture over the cheese and tomato slices. Pour egg mixture over the top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 C cheese

Bake in preheated oven until the knife inserted over the center comes out clean. 40-45 min.

Cool 5 minutes and serve.

Selected and adapted from a recipe in Allrecipes

Butternut Squash Casserole*

2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 3/4 cubes, about 9-1/2 C
2 t minced fresh thyme. Substitute or mix with fresh rosemary
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t fresh ground coarse pepper
12 oz, about 2 C kale or curly kale. Tough stems removed, leaves torn or chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C vegetable or chicken stock

1 C fresh breadcrumbs (3/4 C if using Panko) 1/2 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 T minced fresh sage
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t ground nutmeg
2 T melted unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 F

Generously grease a shallow 9 x 13 casserole dish or 3-qt baking dish

Prepare filling in 2 batches.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a large iron skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add half of the squash, thyme and/or rosemary, 1/2 t salt, and pepper. Sauté until squash begins to brown, 3 min.

Add 1/2 C kale, half the onions, half the garlic. Cook until kale, onions and garlic soften, 4 min.

Add 1//2 C stock, cook to reduce slightly.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish in an even layer.

Heat remaining T of olive oil in the skillet, and repeat steps with half of the remaining ingredients.

Transfer remaining filling to the casserole dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes, until squash is soft when pierced with a sharp knife.

Remove dish and foil from oven. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture

Reduce oven to 350F. Bake, uncovered, 20 min. Serve warm.

Selected and adapted from a recipe in Wellplated by Erin

*Important to review this recipe before undertaking it. It may seem complicated, but it is absolutely worth it, also a good party or holiday dish. My close friend Janet Hawkins in Canada tells me there are also a couple of other cousins of the Butternut, the Buttercup and the Turban, which can also be used in the recipe, if available.


Printable Version (2 pages 8.5″ x 11″ letter size )