Zucchini Tart with Lemon Ricotta

 

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In mid-June, I had bought two zucchini plants from the local nursery:  one green, one yellow. I placed them over thick stacks of newspaper on the floor by the patio door to keep them nice and warm. They were not ready for the ‘outside’ for close to a month. The temperature was still occasionally dipping below 0 C at night and freezing everything in sight. I had never grown zucchini before. I heard they were prolific plants, bearing more than enough fruit for a single family, so two was a good number. I thought – like I always over think – that I might just be eating a lot of zucchini all summer long.

“Prolific” turned out not to have been an accurate description of my summer produce – especially the two zucchini plants.

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Four months back when I was writing my last blog post, I took advantage of those zucchini from the garden. I had been struggling to keep up with my blog posts. I had an inkling that my blog posts may get even more sparse. They had already started to suffer in frequency. I wasn’t sure how to rope myself back into the routine that I had no trouble keeping up with before. So there I was, writing and promising to come back with a recipe for zucchini. I knew I would have to come back to keep my promise, however trivial the matter at hand was.

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The green zucchini plant bore some five fruits and the yellow maybe three proper sized fruit – not exactly the textbook definition of prolific, until now. Had I not had those zucchini, there would have been no tart, no picnic in the garden on that hot summer afternoon, and most importantly not this blog post to break out with.

So I will get on with those zucchini, as promised. A tart to be exact. Delicious to be definitive. Very summery. Very Fall-ish. Whatever way you want it to be. Promise-keeper for sure.

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Zucchini Tart with Lemon Ricotta

Ingredients:

Crust

  • Flour: 1 and 1/2 cup
  • Butter: 1/2 cup unsalted
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp
  • Ice water: 1/3 cup ice cold water

Filling

  • Zucchini: 1 large green, and 1 large yellow (colour is optional)
  • Ricotta: 1 cup
  • Lemon zest: 2 tbsp
  • Egg: 1 whole, whisked
  • Parmesan: 1/2 cup
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Thyme: 1 tbsp, and some for garnish
  • Basil: half a bunch for garnish
  • Egg white for glazing
  • Water: 1 tbsp

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking tray with parchment.
  • For the crust – mix flour and salt together. Set aside
  • Cut the cold butter into the flour till it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Chill the flour and butter mixture in refrigerator for half hour before mixing in the ice cold water.
  • Using a light hand, fold the flour till it comes together to form a dough.
  • Form a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for a few hours.
  • For the filling – slice the zucchinis in thin slices and set aside.
  • Whisk ricotta, egg, parmesan, lemon zest and 1/2 tsp salt together to make a paste. Set aside.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry, occasionally dusting the surface to keep the dough from sticking. Roll out a circle, about 15 inch in diameter.
  • Spread the ricotta filing all over the dough leaving a 2 inch edge.
  • Arrange the sliced zucchinis slightly over lapping each other in a concentric ring or any other fashion you choose. Sprinkle no more than a pinch of salt over the zucchinis.
  • Fold over the edge of the dough to form a self contained pie.
  • Mix a table spoon of water with the egg white and whisk. Using a pastry brush apply the the wash all over the folded edge of the tart.
  • Bake for 30 mins or until the crust is slightly golden on the edge.
  • Let cool slightly before sprinkling the top with fresh thyme and basil.
  • Can be served warm or at room temperature.
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