A Summer Dinner: Courgette/Zucchini, Basil and Ricotta Tart
It's courgette season in the garden, and this recipe will deepen your love for this versatile vegetable. Adapted from Nigel Slater's recipe in his cookbook Notes from the Larder. Fresh, simple, and you may want to even eat it for breakfast.
- 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!