Cottage cheese, the pie crust's surprise ingredient, makes a pastry that is tender without being flaky. Its curds disappear during prebaking. Serve as a light supper with a summer salad or alongside grilled fish.
- For the pastry
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- For the filling
- About 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
- 2 to 3 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced thick and evenly
- 1 cup grated low-fat Swiss cheese
- About 8 basil leaves, stacked, rolled and cut crosswise into very thin slices (julienne; about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Kosher or coarse sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Have ready an ungreased 9-inch pie plate or fluted quiche pan.
For the pastry: Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and, using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut the mixture until it comes together as a smooth dough, with the butter well incorporated. Form the dough into a ball, flatten it slightly, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
On a lightly floured surface or between two pieces of wax paper, roll out the dough slightly larger than the pie plate or quiche pan and press the dough into the plate or pan. Prick the bottom with the tines of a fork, cover loosely and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line the pie shell with aluminum foil and pour ceramic pie weights or dried beans evenly on the foil. Bake for 8 minutes, then carefully remove the weights or beans and the foil, and bake for 2 minutes. (At this point, the crust will not be fully baked.) Cool.
For the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush the bottom of the cooled pie shell with a thin, see-through coating of the mustard. Layer the tomato slices, Swiss cheese, basil and parsley, seasoning each layer lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Scatter the mozzarella and Parmesan evenly over the top; bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Adapted from "The Victory Garden Fish and Vegetable Cookbook," by Marian Morash (Knopf, 1993).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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