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The Last Plate of Summer: Summer Squash and Chickpea Pie

Roll like a domestic goddess with a slice of comfort-food queen Nigella Lawson’s savory pie.




PHOTOS BY LEAH LIZARONDO

 

It’s over. I failed the battle to avoid wearing an extra layer this morning. Summer is gone. Fall is here. Though I look forward to my home turning into a cozy warm oasis with the changing of the seasons, I’m always sad to say goodbye to my favorite season. So I find it appropriate to bid farewell with a little ceremony. And this dish is it.

Fitting that it’s a recipe by the queen of comfort food, Nigella Lawson, from her book “How to Be a Domestic Goddess.”

Replete with summer squash, this pie with rice and chickpeas is enrobed in filo and baked until golden. A simple dish wrapped in a light layer of warmth is a nice metaphor for the advent of fall.

Best part? This also is a perfect “fake it” dish. What’s that? Well, it looks extremely fancy but really, it’s so simple to make. So whenever you want a showstopper for dinner parties or potlucks, this is the one to bring to the table. Reap the accolades without breaking a sweat.

The official end of summer is Sept. 23. Make this and raise a glass to say, “ciao,” until we meet again.
 


Summer Squash and Chickpea Pie


 

From “How to Be a Domestic Goddess”
Makes 1 pie


Ingredients:

  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 plump zucchini or summer squash
  • 1 ¼ cups basmati rice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained
  • 7 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
  • 7 ounces filo pastry
     

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and put in a baking sheet.
  2. Gently fry the cumin seeds and onion in the olive oil until the onion’s soft. Add the turmeric and coriander.
  3. Dice the zucchini (unpeeled), add them to the onion mixture and cook on a fairly high heat to prevent the zucchini from becoming watery. When they are soft but still holding their shape, add the rice and stir well, letting the rice become well coated in the oil.
  4. Add the stock ½ cup at a time, stirring while you do so. When all the liquid has been absorbed, the rice should be cooked, so take it off the heat, stir in the chickpeas and check the seasoning.
  5. Brush the insides of a 9-inch springform pan with some of the olive oil or butter. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with 3/4 of the filo, buttering each piece as you layer. Leave a little filo overlapping the sides and keep 3-4 layers for the top.
  6. Carefully put in your slightly cooled filling and then fold in the overlaps. Butter or oil the last layers of filo and scrunch on top of the pie as a covering.
  7. Brush with a final coat of butter or oil and put in the oven for about 20 minutes — or until the filo is golden and the middle hot. Check by inserting a slim, sharp-bladed knife (or cake-tester). If, when you remove it, it feels hot when you press it against your wrist, the pie’s ready.

 

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