Meatless Monday – Crustless Squash and Spinach Pie

I recently checked out a few cookbooks at the library. I don’t own any vegetarian cookbooks and I wanted to pick up a few ideas for Meatless Mondays. I couldn’t see us having soup or grilled cheese or beans/rice ever Monday night (nothing wrong with that, mind you, but just not every week!). I have returned most of the books, but I had to renew Vegetarian Classics: 300 Essential Recipes for Every Course and Every Meal because I started marking things to make and my list was a mile long!

This pie was a recipe that immediately caught my eye. I know it’s not right and some (like my husband!) would like to disown me for it – but I could live my life without crust. At Thanksgiving, I will eat the filling to my pumpkin pie and give my husband the crust. He thinks I’m weird but doesn’t argue because he gets to be the clean up crew! Anyway, this pie is so full of great summer veggies and lots of flavor. You hardly miss the crust, and I certainly don’t miss the calories. You can eat this as a breakfast meal along with some home fries and fresh fruit or make it more dinner-y by adding a salad. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this colorful feast!

Crustless Squash and Spinach Pie

Serves 6
Adapted from: Vegetarian Classics: 300 Essential Recipes for Every Course and Every Meal

1 Tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced into 1/2″ pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium summer squashes (yellow, zucchini, or a combination of the two), quartered lengthwise and then thinly sliced
10 ounces fresh spinach, leaves torn and stems discarded
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups grated Swiss cheese.

1) Use the butter to grease a 9″ pie plate, reserving any butter left over. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the bottom and sides of the plate, swirling the dish to get them to stick. (there will be extra just hanging out in the plate, and that’s ok!)

2) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper and saute for 5 to7 minutes, until soft and starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

3) Mix in the squash and saute, stirring often, until the squash is tender; about 10 minutes.

4) Add the spinach and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally. Allow the liquid to evaporate. If you have any butter left over from step #1, now’s the time to throw it in. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the vegetables to cool.

5) Preheat the oven to 375 degreese. Beat together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Stir in the cooled vegetable mixture.

6) Spoon half of the egg/vegetable mixture into the prepared pie plate. Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese. Spoon remaining mixture in dish and top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.

7) Bake at 375 for 30 minutes (a knife inserted in the center should come out clean). Allow the pie to cool for 15 minutes before slicing into 6 servings.

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