A few years ago, roughly about the same time when I became an avid cookbook and cooking magazine reader, I wouldn’t even contemplate going grocery shopping without a carefully planned menu for the week ahead and a detailed shopping list. The problem I would often encounter back then was that the occasional key ingredient missing from the supermarket shelves would make me either try to guess a reasonable substitute, or come home and find a replacement recipe.
Much has changed since, starting with the fact that most of the Bistro shopping is now done at the (farmers’) markets. I rarely have a set menu plan for the whole week ahead anymore, though I always have a vast collection of bookmarked recipes that I want to try in the near future. This leaves me free to include in my shopping basket whatever looks most attractive and freshest. I have often been known to bring home some strange-looking thing that none of us had ever seen before, confident that my burgeoning cookbook shelf or the world wide web will contain sufficient information to help me turn it into a delicious meal. And, so far at least, this random strategy has worked quite well.
One “side effect” of this shopping method is that, towards the end of the week, our fridge contains a rather haphazard collection of vegetables, calling for an innovative approach to dinner. Today’s recipe is one such example, meant to use up all the “odd” ingredients in the fridge: some zucchini and green beans, which we all love for their beautiful summer flavours and crunch, a few cherry tomatoes from our balcony garden, and a little bit of Jerry’s multi-herb pesto (one of our favourite recent creations, which deserves it’s own post, coming up shortly).
Green Bean and Zucchini Slice
5 tbsp olive oil
150 g spelt or wholewheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
150 g crumbled feta
300 g green beans, cut into 1 cm pieces
1 leek, white and pale green part only, very finely chopped
2 medium-large zucchini, coarsely grated and squeezed of excess liquid
1 small punnet cherry tomatoes, optional
2 tbsp good quality pesto
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced, to decorate (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Lightly grease an 20×30 cm baking dish and line with baking paper.
Sift the flour and baking powder in a bowl and mix well to combine.
Add the crumbled feta, cherry tomatoes if using, beans, leek and zucchini and stir well with a fork, ensuring that the vegetables are evenly distributed and coated with the flour mixture.
Break the eggs in a separate bowl, add the oil and pesto and beat lightly. Pour over the flour and vegetables and mix well.
Spoon everything into the prepared dish and level with a spatula or back of a spoon.
Arrange the tomato slices on top, if using.
Bake in the heated oven for about 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and set.
Let it cool in the dish before cutting into your desired shapes and size. Serve either warm or at room temperature. The slice will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days and is excellent as a packed lunch or even on a picnic.
Care to share more about your own shopping preferences? We’d love to have you participate in our poll or tell us more in the comments below: