Nan had the hugest most gorgeous kitchen table. I think it seated about 18. Most Sundays there were about 12 of us I think. It was lovely!
Whatever the roast most times Nan would serve this tomato, onion and zucchini pie along with a huge number of roast vegies. Yum. I always loved this pie! Everyone must have as it was always demolished.
It wasn't until more recently that I understood what was going on. Probably Nan was trying to extend a roast to serve so many people. Nan and Pa were probably comfortable without being "well off" and Nan always had yummy meals for everyone.
A roast dinner consisted of roast meat, gravy, a variety of roast and steam vegies and this pie. All of this must have made a roast go the distance.
Watching Jamie Oliver recently he made a roast go a mile too with loads of sides. Nothing has changed! I you want to save the series "Save with Jamie" is wonderful.
When tomatoes are cheap or in the garden this is fabulous. Also it uses left over bread. Any bread we have left from anything is always either dried or frozen for such things.
The recipe is very flexible. In a large pan fry up chopped onion and zucchini until soft and golden and add chopped tomatoes. For the two of us and planning for left overs I did 2 large onions, one zucchini and 5 large soft tomatoes. Do the amount that suits you.
Let the tomato breakdown a bit. Add pepper. I like to add some oregano.
It looks like this and smells beautiful.
Pour it into a baking dish/casserole dish. Now cover with cut up left over bread. Be generous. Over this sprinkle cheese. Now bake this until the bread is crisp and the cheese is golden. Then it looks like a pie...
It smells lovely. It goes perfectly with a roast and roast vegies. And of course makes your roast meat go a mile further!
Left overs still are good with a grill or a steak. Or if you have lots of left overs make little spaces in it and place a cracked egg into each and put in the oven for a beautiful brunch. Just cook until your eggs are set to the degree you like them.
If I am cooking like this I will make double and have enough for another night, or freeze one. Or you could make a large mix and use half by setting some aside to go with pasta, so then you have different meals.
I always think of Nan when I make this. It is so simple it barely qualifies as a recipe but it has so many virtues... easy, tasty, healthy, cheap, uses left over up, can be prepared ahead and popped into oven, freezes, extends meat, the list goes on! In our case we have lots of tomatoes that needed using and stale bread in the freezer.
Old fashioned cooking is wonderful. It was economical and simple and delicious!
Also Nan always placed everything in dishes on the table and people would help themselves. This is miles easier than trying to serve and keep hot a dozen dishes. If you have dishes with lids this is the way to go. I used to serve up everyone's meals and now I wonder why I did that as Nan's way is so much easier!