Zucchini Tart

 

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When I made the Tomato Tart recently, I made enough pastry for two tarts, so I lined my long rectangular tart tin with pastry,  wrapped it in plastic cling film and put it in the freezer.  I bought some beautiful ‘Zucchine Romane’ and decided to use the pastry to make another savoury tart. You could call this recipe a Quiche and I love that you can eat this hot, warm or cold directly from the fridge. It works as a meal, a light lunch accompanied with a leafy green salad,  or even a snack when children start nagging that they are hungry. (Exactly what happened this afternoon when Annabella came back from the beach saying she was  ‘starving’ ).

Zucchini Tart

(The recipe for the pastry is the same shortcrust pastry I used for the Tomato Tart).

  • 400g plain flour
  • 200g chilled unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
  • 2 eggs
  1. Whiz flour, butter and a pinch of salt in a processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add eggs and 2 tablespoons iced water. Process until mix comes together in a ball. Divide in 2 portions, then enclose in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  3. Grease & flour a 26cm tart tin.  On a floured surface, roll out pastry until thin and place it into the tin, pressing it in lightly.  Allow it to overhang a little.  Prick all over with a fork.
  4.  Preheat oven to 200°C.  Line tart tin with baking paper, then fill with pastry weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove weights and paper, then bake for 2-3 minutes until golden and dry.
  5. Prepare the filling while pastry is in oven.

Zucchini Tart Filling

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‘Zucchina Romanesca’
  • 4 large eggs
  • 125ml cream
  • 125ml milk
  • 50g fresh ricotta di pecora
  • 50g finely grated pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5 large basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium sized zucchini (Zucchina Romanesca*)
  • olive oil
  • 3 – 4  zucchini flowers
  1. Whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, ricotta, pecorino cheese, nutmeg & basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Wash zucchini, cut off  bottom ends,  remove flowers and put them aside.  Slice zucchini finely. Lightly pan fry in a small amount of olive oil (a splash) for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
  3. Cut zucchini flower down one side of the petals, remove the stamen and open the flower, so the flower lies flat.
  4. Arrange zucchini slices along base of pre-prepared pastry tart case. Pour egg mixture carefully on top.  Arrange zucchini flowers on top and bake at 180°C for about 40min or until top is golden and middle of tart has set.

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* Zucchina Romanesca is a variety of zucchini from Lazio. It has a more compact pulp than a traditional zucchini which means it isn’t watery when cooked and you don’t need to remove the centre part. They are sweet with a decisive, characteristic flavour.  If you can buy them with their beautiful flowers attached, it is a true sign that they are indeed fresh.