Zucchini Tart

Sunday, August 14, 2022
Tags: veggies main
A watercolor illustration of a triangular slice of the zucchini tart. You can tell some of the crust folds over the top. There are abstract bits of zucchini slices, yellow squash slices, and tomato slices on top.

inspired by Sarah Owens’ Sourdough, page 225 and King Arthur Baking

Ingredients

Crust
45 grams walnuts
45 grams white whole wheat (or regular whole wheat, or just more AP)
65 grams all-purpose flour
15 grams granulated sugar, or less
1 teaspoon diamond crystal salt
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried rosemary or other aromatic herb (oregano, thyme, etc.) - skipping this is also fine
75 grams unsalted butter
50 grams sourdough discard
15-25 grams vodka or water, ice cold


Filling
340 - 397 grams of zucchini/yellow squash, sliced into 1/4” thick disks (or half disks if it’s a big ‘un)
a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (or just one small tomato, sliced thick)
some dried thyme and oregano (or other aromatic, dried herbs)
170 grams ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon diamond crystal salt
black pepper, to taste
the zest of one lemon
1 egg
57 grams grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg, beaten, with 1 tablespoon water (or just 1/8 cup of heavy cream is fine)
handful of fresh basil and/or mint, torn


Directions

Starting the crust

  1. Put the walnuts, flour(s), sugar, salt, and herbs in a food processor and mix until ground fine.
  2. Add the butter and pulse until it looks like cornmeal.
  3. Add the discard and water/vodka (a little at a time) and pulse to combine. Be sure to give the dough enough time to come together before you decide you need more liquid.
  4. Put dough on a lightly flowered surface and knead once or twice until the dough comes together.
  5. Wrap in plastic and put in fridge for 30 minutes up to 24 hours.

Filling & the rest

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  3. Place the zucchini slices on one pan and sprinkle with some salt, pepper, and dried herbs.
  4. Place the tomato halves/slices on the second pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dried herbs.
  5. Roast the zucchini and tomatoes until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Use your judgement here, you just want all the veggies to be tender and released of some of their water so the tart doesn’t end up soggy.
  6. Remove the zucchini and tomatoes from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  7. While all this is going on, remove dough from fridge and allow to soften at room temp 5-10 minutes.
  8. During this time, you can also go on and combine the ricotta, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and egg until evenly blended.
  9. After the veggies are done cooking and resting, on lightly floured parchment paper, roll out dough to around 1/8” thick.
  10. Transfer the dough (on the paper) to a baking sheet.
  11. Spread the ricotta mixture over the dough, leaving a 2”-wide bare strip along the perimeter.
  12. Sprinkle half the Parmesan over the ricotta.
  13. Shingle the zucchini slices over the cheese and scatter the tomato halves/slices on top.
  14. Fold the bare edges of the dough into the center.
  15. Brush the exposed edges of the crust with the egg wash or cream.
  16. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and the basil/mint over the whole tart.
  17. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, mainly until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
  18. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. I find wider slices better, but you probably could cut this as small as you needed to for an appetizer or something.

Thoughts

Any time I encounter an open-faced tart that sounds even remotely appealing, I use this crust. It’s buttery, flakey, and delicious. Plus, I know I can do it well AND it uses sourdough discard! I’m not sure I can taste the sourdough-ness, but it uses this thing I have on hand so that’s fun. I know it feels a bit like a faff to have to roast some veggies before even baking the thing, but I do think it helps make it less watery than it could be. Despite the fact it’s encased in a buttery crust, it feels light, satisfying, summery, and impressive.

This may be my last zucchini recipe. We’ll see. All else fails, if you keep getting more and you need something to do with it quick, you can just sear some zucchini in a frying pan and top it with some toasted breadcrumbs and sautéed shallots. Look at that - another recipe! Surprise!