Getting inspired by the recipes of Erin Gleeson from her Forest Feast Cookbook isn’t difficult. She presents her dishes in such a colorful way that you immediately want to run into your kitchen.
These zucchini cups are inspired on her way of cooking.
Although I live in suburbia, I’m not enclosed by it completely. Just after arriving at my house, the street is ascending and curving hill up. Suddenly you’re completely surrounded by trees and wild life. In the park on top of the hills signs warn you for mountain lions, which sounds scary enough, but knowing the Dutch translation (poema) makes me even more frightened. I only can hope my cats won’t go up the hills that far when they’re outdoors.
A few miles more on your route to San Francisco photographer and illustrator Erin Gleeson lives in these hills. I met her just after her book was published to interview her for my Dutch food blog (lees het hier) and she turned out to be a very friendly, open-minded and caring woman. In a way she even inspired me to start making my illustrations. Not directly, but by saying that she loved spending time outdoors on the deck of her cabin. That made me feel a bit jealous, as I was tighted to my house because of my old laptop with bad battery. Until some time later I got this brain wave.
Last weekend she invited me and Mr. Eats for a dinner party she organized together with Eat With, a website that helps pairing hosts and guest for all kinds of dinners at people’s homes. Seated at a large, beautifully dressed table I had a great evening meeting new, creative, inspiring people with good food in a fantastic setting in the woods. Erin had made a big vegetarian buffet based on the recipes of her book The Forest Feast.
The book is unique in its sort and even experienced cooks as I am, will find inspiration for dishes or a fun way to present them. At the dinner party in the woods, Erin made her yellow squash galette. And not just to copy her recipe, I used her ingredients (and added some more) and thought about another fun way to present it. Let me introduce you to my zucchini cups.
RECIPE MINI ZUCCHINI QUICHES [vegetarian]For 9-10 small zucchini quiches
1 cupcake tray
1 sheet of puff pastry (or 10 smaller sheets)
2 T olive oil
1 clove of garlic/1 t roasted garlic
5 branches thyme
salt and pepper
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/3-1/2 cup sliced almonds
Prepare. Defrost the pastry. Preheat the oven at 375 F degrees (or 180 C). Sprinkle some flour in the holes of your cupcake tray, especially if it intends to stick. Fill 9-10 holes with a sheet of pastry.
Cut the veggies. Peel and cut the onion and cook softly in the olive oil until tender. Peel and chop the garlic or use 1/2 teaspoon or this roasted garlic. Add to the onions and cook along for 1 minute. Cut the zucchini in very small pieces (brunoise) and bake with the onion. Add thyme leaves and bring to taste with salt and pepper.
Beat the eggs with the ricotta and add the zucchini-onionmix. Stir and fill the little pastries and sprinkle some of the sliced almonds on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven.
Tip: For a non-vegetarian version you could cook 4 slices of bacon in a dry skillet (the same in which you’ll cook the onions) until crunchy, crumble and mix through the ricotta-zucchini.
Serve. You can serve these zucchini cups at a party, bring them to a potluck or just serve them for dinner. I had a large salad with cucumber from my little vegetable garden next to it. And the next day I was happy to have one left for (a part of my) lunch.