Hope you are enjoying the holidays, spending time with family, friends and eating a lot of good food. We certainly did.
One of my contributions to this Christmas’ fare at my Aunt’s house was this Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart. It was a hit, plus it was pretty to boot. Not surprising really; I turned to Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa as her recipes are always delicious and reliable.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 tbsp (1 1/4 sticks) of COLD unsalted butter, 1/2 inch dice
1/2 tsp of white wine vinegar
5 tbsp of ice water
1 1/2 pounds of zucchini, unpeeled and sliced 1/8th of an inch thick (See note)
2 tbsp of good olive oil, divided
8 oz of plain creamy goat cheese such as Montrachet – Room temp. (I found my creamy, spreadable goat cheese at Metro in 4 oz containers.
1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp of grated lemon zest ( I always put more. I love lemon. I’m sure I put like a teaspoon)
Zucchini: Choose zucchini that have similar diameters so the slices are uniform. Slice by hand or with a mandolin. You do not want the slices to be too thin (almost transparent) as they will disintegrate when salted and cooked.
Make ahead tip: Roll out dough and assemble tart. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Bake before serving.
Dough: To make an 11 inch circle , roll out the dough from the centre, outwards, to form a circle. Roll it out to about 12-13 inches. Flour generously and fold into quarters and trim the edge with a sharp knife. When you unfold the pastry, it will be a perfect circle.
Place the flour, 3/4 tsp of salt and the butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse 12 to 15 times or until the butter is the size of peas.
With the food processor running, quickly pour the vinegar and ice water through the feed tube and continue to process and pulse until dough just comes together.
Dump onto a floured board, quickly form into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the zucchini slices into a colander and set over a plate. Toss with 2 tsp of salt and set aside for 30 minutes.
Spread zucchini out on a clean dish towel, roll it up and gently squeeze to remove excess liquid. Put the zucchini slices into a bowl and toss with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
With a fork, mash together the goat cheese, thyme, lemon zest , 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough out on a floured board to an 11 inch circle (see note above) and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Spread goat cheese mixture onto the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Pile onto the middle of the tart and spread outwards with the back of a spoon.
Lay slices onto the cheese in tightly overlapping circles, starting at the very edge of the pastry (zucchini will shrink when baked). Continue overlapping circles of zucchini until the whole tart is covered.
Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the dough is golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Use a pizza cutter for best results.
Hope you enjoy this 🙂