I call this pie Suzette because it features:
Tomatoes - SZT - SuZeTte.
All three ingredients are in season right now, and are some of the best items at the farmer's market.
I can't resist the deep yellow of good summer squash. There's not another yellow in nature like it. I find it pairs very well with deep red tomatoes and pale green - almost white - Mexican zucchini. While regular zucchini are usually 8-12" in length, the Mexican zucchini at the market is usually 3-4" in length and perfect to put in the center of a pie with a 9" diameter.
I'm still looking for a crust that's even crispier and flakier than this one but that incorporates corn meal. In fact, I almost didn't use a crust for this recipe at all. I was sorely tempted to make this into a cornbread and goop recipe.
You could substitute any good nutty cheese here. I used Parmesan because I had a big bag of cheap parm I wanted to use up before my watery fridge took it out (more about that in another post). If you have gruyere or taleggio, lease feel free to substitute.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal or masa
1 stick butter, chilled, cut into many small pieces
1/4 cup ice water
big pinch salt
2 summer squash, topped, and sliced very thinly on the bias (as with a mandolin)
2-3 small pale green Mexican zucchini topped, sliced lengthwise (5-8 slices per)
2 plum tomatoes, topped and sliced lengthwise (5 slices per)
1/2 can vegetarian refried beans
1 medium red onion, sliced thinly (as with a mandolin)
herbs (I used basil and tarragon)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon oil plus some for drizzling and for oiling pan
3/4 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
Mix the salt, cornmeal, and flour together in a big bowl. Chill the butter bits and add into the flour combo, squishing with your fingers to work the butter in until the mix resembles a grainy mix. Add the ice water and work mix into a dough ball. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sautee onions in a tablespoon of hot oil. Add salt to draw water out of the onions. When onions are soft and just taking on color, remove from heat and set aside. Grease up a standard 9" cake pan.
Roll the dough ball out on a floured surface into a round just larger than the cake pan. Place the dough in the pan and work the edges so you have a hollow crust. Brush with oil lightly and put into preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
Toss the summer squash with a tablespoon or two of water and chopped up herbs, enough to taste. Herbs should cling to squash.
After 25 minutes in the oven, spread vegetarian refried beans over the base of the crust. Spread sautéed onions over that, distributing evenly. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over that. Next layer summer squash in a decorative pattern, overlapping slices. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of this layer.
Zucchini and tomato slices in a decorative radial pattern make up the next layer, salt and pepper them, and more summer squash slices go on top of that. Brush the top slices lightly with oil, add 1/4 cup Parmesan and a sprinkling of herbs, salt, and pepper. Drop oven temperature to 325 F. Bake for 20 minutes until pie is hot throughout and squash has shrunk a bit.
Let cool for ten minutes before de-plating. Turn the cake pan upside down while holding the pie's top with your clean hand, then place a plate over the bottom of the pie and re-invert. It should release from the cake pan easily and hold together while you switch it from the cake pan to a plate.
Cut and serve immediately or allow to cool completely and serve cold. A splash of lemon or lemon balm wouldn't be out of place.