ZUCCHINI RICE-CRUST PIE

I’ve been making this rice crust forever.  The original recipe came from my first vegetarian cookbook in the early 80s and I’ve been experimenting with fillings ever since. Yay! It’s gluten free. 

makes a 20cm round pie

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing

500g zucchini (3 medium), very finely sliced, using a mandolin is best, or coarsely grate 

sea salt

5 free range eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups cooked rice, warm

1 brown onion, finely chopped

1 cup Greek style creamy natural yoghurt

freshly ground pepper

80g parmesan or pecorino, finely grated 

½ bunch dill, leaves finely chopped

½ bunch mint leaves, chopped

50g bocconcini balls, split in half

Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan-forced).  Lightly oil a 20cm round pie dish.

 Place zucchini in a colander sitting over a bowl and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of sea salt.  Toss to mix through and set aside for 15 minutes.

In a bowl whisk one egg and a tablespoon of olive oil.  Stir in the warm rice to combine well. Transfer the rice mixture to the prepared pie dish then press evenly over the base and around the sides to line the dish.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large fry pan over a medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes until softened and lightly golden. Spread onion over the rice base.  

Whisk the remaining four eggs in a large bowl until lightly beaten. Whisk in the yoghurt to combine well. Season with pepper.

Squeeze the zucchini to remove excess liquid.  Add zucchini, parmesan and herbs to the egg mixture and gently stir to combine.  Spoon mixture into the prepared dish and spread evenly.  

Bake for 20 minutes, then scatter the bocconcini over the surface. Return to the oven and cook a further 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and just firm to touch in the centre. Rest for 10 minutes before cutting. Cut into wedges.  Serve warm or at room temperature. Delicious served with Torello Tomato Relish or Onion Jam.

Options: Replace parmesan and bocconcini with grated cheddar.  Replace mint or dill with parsley and basil.

Fiona Hammond  © January 2019

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Mark Brancatisano