Nothing says harvest time here in New Mexico like when you find yourself looking for creative ways to use up that extra zucchini and squash from your garden--and get your chile fix. No dish epitomizes this better than calabacitas. I have fond memories of coming home as a child on a school night to roasted chicken and a casserole dish filled with this corn, chile, and zucchini veggie side. And now that school is officially back in session, I love the idea of one dish meals that are healthy and easy to put together on a busy weekday evening (hello first week of teaching!).
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart's spinach tart. I've added blue cornmeal to the crust because yum! and then swapped out the spinach for the traditional Southwestern filling of alabacitas. For the tart pictured, I omitted the squash, simply because I didn't have any on hand, but feel free to add it as an extra layer to your own--I know I will once I get my hands on some!
This tart is great as an easy dinner by itself, with a side of greens, or, if I am feeling nostalgic, with roasted chicken. It's also delicious the next day for breakfast with an over easy egg on top. I used nutritional yeast in place of cheese for this recipe, but you could easily swap it out with aged gouda or sharp cheddar. Keep in mind that if you are using cheese in place of the nutritional yeast, you don't have to drizzle olive oil over each additional layer.
1/2 cup blue cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water
1 cup chopped green chile
1 cup yellow corn
1 small zucchini or half of a medium one
1 medium sweet onion
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (or cheese of choice)
1/4 cup red chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 eggs beaten
salt to taste
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Whisk together flours and a pinch of salt to taste. Then add oil and water and mix until a ball forms. Press dough evenly into a tart pan (I use one with a removable bottom for easy serving), then use a fork to prick holes into the bottom. Cook in oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
While the tart crust cools, dice up onions and sauté with minced garlic clove, olive oil and cumin in saucepan until softened. Slice zucchini into thin disks; you should end up with about one cup (you can save any zucchini not used here for pizza toppings or a veggie stir-fry). Now you can begin to layer your ingredients: start with in the onions and garlic first, then the chile and finally the corn, making sure to add some of your red chile powder, salt, and nutritional yeast (or cheese) between layers. Then pour the beaten eggs over your layers. For your final layer, arrange your zucchini disks over the tart, starting in the middle and working you way out to the edge. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil and dust the top with your last bit of red chile and nutritional yeast (or cheese).
Place tart in oven and cook 35-40 minutes until egg is set. Let cool for at least ten minutes before serving. Serves 6-8. Enjoy!
Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational collection of musings touching on life’s simple pleasures, everyday enchantments, and delectable recipes that will guarantee to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe here.