Squash Cheese Pie
Published by Harvard Common Press
Because pot cheese, cottage cheese, and farmer’s cheese are all similar in having a somewhat tangy flavor and being made up of curds, they can be used interchangeably. The flavors and textures blend incredibly well when baked and melted with a harder, saltier cheese, such as Parmesan. You can purchase any of them fresh in a specialty cheese store by the pound or prepackaged in most supermarkets. A cross between a frittata and a crustless quiche, kusa b’jibin is served bubbling hot topped with cold, creamy leban m’naa’na (Yogurt-Mint Dressing). It’s ideal for an appetizer or for lunch. Add a rice dish, such as m’jedrah (Rice with Lentils), together with a salad, and you have a satisfying vegetarian dinner.
Serves6 to 8
Cooking Methodbaking, sauteeing
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseappetizer, main course
Dietary Considerationappetizer, main course
Taste and Texturecheesy, chewy, creamy, rich, salty, savory, tangy
Type of Dishcasserole, savory/pot pie, vegetable
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more to coat the pan
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
- 8 cups diced yellow squash and/or zucchini (about 4 large)
- ½ cup cold water
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese or freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups large-curd cottage cheese (preferably whole milk, but lowfat or nonfat can be substituted), pot cheese, or farmer’s cheese
- Several grindings of black pepper
- Dash of paprika or Aleppo pepper
- 1 recipe Yogurt-Mint Dressing
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onions, stirring, until golden and soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the squash and water and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until the squash is soft but not mushy, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a large bowl, combine the beaten eggs, cheeses, and black pepper. Mix well. Pour half of the cheese mixture into a separate large bowl. Fold the cooked squash gently into the mixture in one of the bowls. Coat a 9-inch glass or other ovenproof baking dish with vegetable oil. Pour in the squash-cheese mixture. Spread the remaining half of the cheese mixture on top and sprinkle with paprika for color. (May be refrigerated at this point and baked later in the day or frozen. It will keep for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator, 3 to 4 weeks in the freezer. Defrost before baking.)
Place the pie in the center of the oven and bake until the top is brown and the center is firm when pierced with a knife, 50 to 60 minutes.
Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Can be served hot or cold, with each serving topped with a dollop of Yogurt-Mint Dressing.
2002 Jennifer Felicia Abadi