Tuesday, August 9

The Summer of the Zucchini Tart

Every summer has it's signature dish.  The one thing I find myself making over and over.  That one dish that never seems to get old, though sometimes my family doesn't share that sentiment.  Last year it was tomato salad, marinated in sweet balsamic and spicy raw garlic, made with what seemed like an endless supply of tomatoes from the garden. The year before, crispy zucchini fries were on the table nearly every day.  The kids requested them cut into sticks instead of rounds and happily dipped them in just about anything from spicy marinara to creamy ranch dressing and even ketchup.  This year it's the zucchini tart, with juicy heirloom tomatoes and caramelized onions, that we can't get enough of.  In fact, I'm sure this summer will become know as "the summer of the zucchini tart" if ever, by chance, my children someday write about the recipes that populated their childhood. (Hey, a mom can dream!)

I've lost count of how many times I've made this tart in the past few weeks and zucchini season continues to stretch before us! Each time it's a little different, depending on what's sitting on the counter.  But this is my favorite variation.  I love the sweetness of the caramelized onions with the bright flavour of oregano.  Top it with a very good olive oil to really bring it to the next level.  I've fallen in love with Cobram Estate extra virgin olive oil.  Not only is it made in a completely peanut-free facility, but their small batch, tree-to-table practices produce the most pure and flavourful olive oil I've ever tasted!  In a tart that's this simple, it's those pure ingredients that make it so amazing. 


Heirloom Tomato & Zucchini Tart

1  1/2 cups flour
5 TBSP cold butter, cut into cubes
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup ice water
1 tsp vinegar

2 TBSP olive oil, divided (plus more for serving)
1 TBSP butter
1 onion chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup black olives, chopped
1 green zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
1 yellow zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
1 heirloom tomato, sliced into 6 or 7 slices
1/2 tsp dry Mediterranean oregano
salt and pepper

make crust:
Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl.  Add the butter and use a pasty blender to cut it into the flour until it is finely chopped and mixed.  Add the water and continue cutting with the pastry blender until the dough comes together.  Form the dough into a round disk and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate 45 - 60 minutes.

Roll the cold dough out onto a floured surface to slightly larger than your tart pan.  Carefully transfer to a the pan and gently press into place.  Trim the over hanging edges and use the timings to reinforce the sides of the tart shell.  Prick the bottom all over with a fork.  Refrigerate the crust again while you make the filling.

make filling:
Heat 1 TBSP of olive oil and 1 TBSP of butter in a skillet.  Saute the onions over medium -low heat.  Add a pinch of salt, then cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until caramelized and golden brown.  Add the garlic and cook another minute or two.  Cool the onions slightly, then spread evenly into tart shell.

Sprinkle olives over top.

In a large bowl, toss the zucchini with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, oregano & salt and pepper.  Layer the zucchini into the tart shell, alternating between green and yellow.  Top with the tomato slices and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Bake at 350 for  35 - 40 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.  Allow to cool for 15 - 30 minutes before slicing.  Can be served warm or at room temperature.  Drizzle with olive oil just before serving.

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