Summer harvest season has arrived and the courgettes, while not ready in my garden yet, are bursting out of so many others’ gardens, including my contractor’s. Last Friday he brought a bounty of vegetables from his and his wife’s garden (see pic below), and I was over the moon as I had company arriving for the weekend.
The courgettes completed a simple, yet elevated tart, and after sharing a pic of it on Instagram yesterday and being asked to share the recipe, here it is!
As I shared earlier this summer, I have been enjoying perusing through the many cookbooks in my library, and Nigel Slater’s offer such simplicity, along with dependable seasonal flavor. I regularly pull recipes from his Notes from the Larder and Kitchen Diaries, and it was his Zuchinni and Ricotta Tart that inspired today’s recipe (p. 400, Notes from the Larder).
~Take the full tour – before and after – of TSLL’s Kitchen here.
Paired with a crisp glass of French chablis, a simple vinaigrette dressed arugula salad topped with tomatoes from the gift from the garden, and that was it. Done and satiated after one simple serving.
My vinaigrette dressing recipe (so simple!), one serving:
- 3-4 Tbs Olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar (the best – the thicker the better)
- 2 turns of freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
A Summer Dinner: Courgette/Zucchini, Basil and Ricotta Tart
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter chilled (best quality)
- 1 tsp salt – fleur de sel
- 4-5 Tbsp cold water
Tart Filling (including Courgettes)
- 2 sm-medium courgettes/zucchinis sliced in half (don't peel) lengthwise, quarter if large in size
- 1 1/2 cup ricotta (homemade if possible)
- 1 garlic clove large, chopped and crushed
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, fresh, torn, not chopped (15 g)
- 2-3 Tbsp flour
- 2 medium eggs beaten
- 1/2-2/3 cup heavy cream just enough to create a 'thick soup' consistency
- 2/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano grated (finely)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Make the pastry at least 30 minutes in advance. Can be made a day in advance. Regridgerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. A puff pastry can also be used in lieu of making your own pastry.
- Using a food processor or dough cutter in a medium bowl, combine the flour, butter and salt until the consistency of breadcrumbs – about 5-10 pulses.
- Gradually add the cold water. You may need more or less, just enough until the dough comes together.
- Roll into a ball and then flatten into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the regridgerator for 30 minutes. Make the filling and cook the courgettes while it chills.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
- Over medium heat, place olive oil (about 2-3 tablespoons) in a skillet – medium or large. Place the courgettes (sliced lengthwise in half, unpeeled, quartered if a large size). Season with salt and pepper. Cook until done – nearly transculent meat of the courgette. Turn from time to time to make sure all sides are cooked. Remove from heat when done to a plate until you place in your tart.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta with salt and pepper to season – don't be shy (3-4 good turns of the pepper grinder, 1-1 1/2 tsp of fleur de sel). Add the peeled, chopped and crushed garlic. Then add the torn basil leaves, flour, beaten eggs, cheese and then add the heavy cream. Add 1/2 cup first and then check the consistency after mixing all the ingredients together. If the consistency of a thick soup, your set; if too thick, add more – up to a 2/3 total of a cup.
Putting it all together
- Roll out the chilled dough into the size of a round or square or rectangular tart pan. OR roll out for a rustic tart, placing the dough on a jelly roll sheet – the thicker the filling the better, so less cream in this case. I used a square tart pan, and I had enough of everything with this recipe – courgettes, pastry and filling.Place the dough in your desired tart pan or baking sheet (if on a baking sheet, place on parchment).
- Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart dough to finish the edges before adding the filling.
- Add the filling. Don't add too much as you don't want it to go over the edge. Place the courgettes – as many as you want on top of the filling. Sprinkle an extra 2-3 tablespoons of parmesan over the top of the tart.
- Bake for 27-30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, pair with a simple vinagriette dressed salad and fresh vegetables from the garden. If preferred, a lovely glass of crisp white wine or rosé. Enjoy!