Every now and then I come across a recipe that looks so, so perfect. Just the right ingredients, treated simply and with respect, and presented beautifully. A dish worth spending the extra time on. A dish worth taking extra care with, placing on the table with pride, and enjoying slowly with great music and a glass of wine.
This zucchini tart was exactly that. It was elegant and delicious and paired, with a salad, a terrific late summer meal. It does take some time to create, but none of the steps are difficult. So before summer is over, find some time to make this, our a glass of wine, and enjoy the end of the season with someone you love.
Zucchini Tart with Feta
1 (10 × 13) sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and chilled
12 sheets phyllo dough, plus melted butter or olive oil for brushing
2 1⁄2 lbs. zucchini, trimmed
1 TBSP salt, plus more to taste
3 TBSP butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, soft insides removed and finely chopped
1 c. crumbled feta cheese
1⁄2 c. ricotta
2 TBSP chopped basil
freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fit pastry into a 9″ × 12″ baking sheet, pressing it against sides. Score around bottom inner edge of pastry, with a paring knife. Prick bottom of pastry all over with a fork, line with a sheet of parchment paper that fits in bottom only, and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake until edge of crust begins to puff and color, about 25 minutes (10 for phyllo). Watch the dough carefully and shield edges with foil if they brown too quickly. Remove weights and paper. Bake until bottom is golden, 6–8 minutes more. Let crust cool slightly.
2. Coarsely grate half of the zucchini into a sieve or strainer placed over large bowl. Add 1 TBSP salt, toss well, and set aside to let weep for 30 minutes. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and wring throughly to remove moisture.
3. Meanwhile, slice remaining zucchini into 1⁄4″-thick rounds. Working in batches, blanch rounds in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute. Drain and spread out on a paper towel–lined sheet pan; set aside.
4. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. (Spoon out 1 TBSP and reserve.) Add onions and cook until soft, 5–6 minutes. Add grated zucchini and cook, stirring often, until just beginning to brown, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.
5. Stir tomatoes, half of the feta, ricotta, basil, and salt and pepper to taste into zucchini mixture. Stir in egg and spread mixture evenly in crust. Arrange zucchini rounds, slightly overlapping in rows, on top. Bake for 15 minutes, then brush top with reserved butter. Continue to bake until crust is deep golden, 10 minutes more. Let cool to room temperature, then sprinkle remaining feta over top. To serve, cut tart into squares. Serves 4 as a main course.
two years ago: banana-nut bread
three years ago: honey-peach ice cream