November 4, 2014

Fresh Vegetable Tart

This is a recipe I have been making a lot the last few months. (Okay, since early summer I have made it about 6-7 times.) I often make it just for me and eat it for breakfast, lunch, and a side at supper for a few days. But I am like that. If I love a recipe, I will happily eat it for ages on end. Almost every week this summer, I made a particular Pioneer Woman salad. Normal people like variety, but I like what I like. And since I have the luxury of being home for lunch and the time to make a lunch I feel like eating, I make exactly what I feel like. Even if it happens to be what I had for lunch the last four days running.

But this tart. It is scrum-diddly-umptious! It is from America's Test Kitchen. (I love America's Test Kitchen. And Cooks Country. And Cooks Illustrated, which are all by the same people.) It is a little complicated, since ATK apparently likes weird measures, you have to freeze the crust before you bake it, and the filling has several steps, but once we get over that, it really is pretty easy. The crust is really yummy and I think you could use any vegetables you have on hand that pair well with mild cheese and each other.

I will just give you the recipe as written, and then tell you how I do it completely differently.

Fresh Vegetable Tart
Serves 6

3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour (A cup, minus one tablespoon)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup ice water
1/2 cup grated parmesean

Process the flours, sugar, and salt in a food processor for a few pulses. Drizzle oil over the flour mixture and pulse until it resembles coarse sand, about 12 pulses. Add 3 tablespoons ice water and process until large clumps of dough form, about 5 seconds. If the dough doesn't clump, add the extra tablespoon of ice water.

Press the crust into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch tart pan. Lay plastic wrap over the top and freeze for half an hour.

It is rather unappetizing looking, due to the green color of my olive oil and the brown of whole wheat flour, but ignore that. It is scrumptious! 

Heat oven to 375 F with rack in the middle. Remove plastic from tart and cover with tin foil and pie weights. Bake until golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Sprinkle the parmesean over the baked crust and return to oven for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is golden.

1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cut shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

While crust is baking, slice up zucchini and tomato. Lay over paper towel and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to draw out excess moisture.

Combine one teaspoon olive oil and garlic clove, set aside.

In another bowl, mix the remaining olive oil, the ricotta and the mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper.

After crust is out of the oven and slightly cooled, put the ricotta mixture in the shell. Top with zucchini and tomato slices (the picture has a delightful tart with a red and green pinwheeling design if you feel like making the effort) and drizzle with olive oil and garlic mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly, and vegetables are slightly wilted.

Let cool 10 minutes, then sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve warm.

This one, I used yellow summer squash, zucchini, red onions, and cherry tomatoes.

Alrighty then! I don't do it completely differently. But some differently. For one thing, I don't always have whole wheat flour, so I just add 1 and 1/4 cup regular old flour. And if you wanted to not use a food processor, that is really not necessary. I do freeze the crust, but I don't worry about the tin foil and pie weights while baking. For the filling, I use zucchini if I have one, but I have made it a couple times with just a tomato. Oh, and sprinkle with thin onions. I also double the garlic, since I love garlic. And the filling can be doubled if you like a little extra cheesy- creaminess. (Who doesn't?) If you don't have fresh basil, just throw some dried basil into the ricotta/mozzarella mix before baking. And since I am a salt-aholic, I like to sprinkle some more salt on top before serving.


Virginia said...

I like where your head's at w/ this one! It's on my future menu!

Geri Douglas said...

That is definitely one of the down sides to life on the road1 I will save it for one of those days when I am home and back in the kitchen cooking. Might be awhile though. Maybe when we visit you, you will be kind enough to serve this delicious dish to your aunt Geri