Zucchini (Or Any Other Kind Of Veggie) Tart

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zucchini tartI'm not a vegetarian. It's not that I have anything against it really, I'm just far too hedonistic to limit myself. So with a healthy dose of hedonism—and summer's wares peaking—I find myself gorging on more and more vegetables and fruits fresh from the market. Meat has taken a backseat. I'd rather bite into a big juicy tomato than a big juicy steak.

And, as in my last post on market suppers, I'm constantly looking for new and delectable ways to eat them—even though currently it seems to be raw, out of hand, and with little or no embellishment. When I'm feeling a bit more inspired, and have a little extra pastry dough on hand (which is actually quite often as I make way more than I need and store extra disks in my freezer), I love tucking whatever leftover vegetables that need to be eaten into a quiche or tart, like this one. It is deliciously simple and gooey with three different kinds of cheese.

The recipe below is for a zucchini tart, because I can't seem to stop loading up on them each week at the market. But to make this an any-kind-of-vegetable tart, replace the zucchini with about 1/2 cup sautéed leeks; blanched asparagus, green beans or chopped broccoli or cauliflower; freshly cooked chopped spinach or other greens; fresh, chopped tomatoes; fresh corn kernels; or a mixture of any of these. You can also add a sprinkle of fresh herbs, like basil, marjoram, oregano, chives, or swap out the cheeses for your favorite.

The point is, this is an extremely versatile way to make your own seasonal specialty. Or just find something new to do with that bounty of fresh veggies you have in your fridge.

Zucchini (Or Any Veggie) Tart


Makes: One 10-inch tart

One 10-inch tart pan lined with flaky pie dough (see recipe below or use your favorite recipe)
3 zucchini, trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup cubed fresh mozzarella
3 eggs
1/4 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shredded fontina cheese
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line the tart pan with the dough, then line the dough with foil. Fill with ceramic pie weights or beans or rice. Place the tart shell on a baking sheet and bake until it starts to dry out, about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and continue to bake until very light golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

2. While the tart shell is baking, shred the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater-shredder onto paper towels. Spread evenly and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Using paper towels, blot the zucchini dry (try to get it as dry as possible).

3. Sprinkle the zucchini and mozzarella evenly in the lined tart pan. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, crème fraiche, and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour evenly over the zucchini. Sprinkle the fontina and Parmesan evenly over the top.

4. Bake until the filling is set and the top is golden brown, about 25 minutes. If you want to get the cheese extra bubbly and brown, place under the broiler for a minute. Let sit for a few minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Flaky Pie Dough

Makes: Enough for two 10-inch tarts

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
12 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/3 cup ice water + 1 tablespoon

1. To make the crust, in the bowl of a food processor, stir together the flour, and salt. Sprinkle the butter over the top and process for a few seconds, or just until the butter is slightly broken up into the flour but still in visible pieces. Sprinkle the water over the flour mixture evenly, then process until the mixture just starts to come together.

2. Dump the mixture out of the bowl onto 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Press the dough together into a mound and then wrap with plastic and press into a flat disk. Refrigerate the dough until chilled, about 30 minutes or up to 1 day, or freeze for up to 1 month.