August = Tomatoes! So, be prepared, the tomato posts are about to start kicking off in full speed! I literally cannot eat tomatoes fast enough right now – it seems you wait all summer watching these green balls get bigger and bigger on the vine and slowly start to change color and them BOOM, you have dozens of tomatoes all at once! That being said, I’m always looking for recipes that can use multiple tomatoes to start chipping away at our harvest! This Tomato Zucchini Tart was a perfect find for lots of big, juicy, red tomatoes! I used roughly 1 pound of tomatoes – you can use any tomatoes you have on hand and don’t be afraid to mix and match tomato varieties. The most delicious component of this tart is the garlic, basil, olive oil “dressing” that’s used to brush on to the bottom of the crust before layering the veggies and again on top once the veggies are all properly tucked into the tart pan – AMAZING! The most time consuming part of this entire dish is preparing and blind baking the crust – if you’re feeling a tad overwhelmed you can easily use a store bought pie crust but I must admit the homemade crust is worth every second of work after that first bite of buttery flaky crust! I finished my tart off with a few fresh grates of Parmesan cheese!
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), cold & cut into very small cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8-1/4 cup ice water (2-4 tablespoons roughly)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup packed basil leaves, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pound fresh tomatoes
- 1 pound fresh zucchini
- salt and pepper
Prepare and Blind Bake Crust:
- Combine flour and salt in bowl of a food processor. Meanwhile, cut up cold butter into cubes and place in separate bowl. Place both bowls in freezer for 10-15 minutes to chill.
- Remove butter and flour mixture from freezer. Add chilled butter to food processor bowl and pulse several times or until the butter is roughly the size of peas and distributed evenly throughout the flour mixture.
- Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and pulse several times. Continue to add water (and pulsing a few times) until dough just comes together. Depending on moisture and humidity levels, the amount of water that you may need will change.
- Remove dough to counter top and press together with hands.
- Allow to chill in fridge for at least one-two hours (or prepare the day before and chill overnight).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- After dough has chilled, remove the dough from fridge. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin–and roll out evenly into a large, roughly 12-13” diameter disc—rotating the dough continuously as you go to prevent sticking. Fold into quarters and transfer to a 10-inch tart pan (with removable bottom). Carefully press dough into sides and corners (without stretching) and roll the rolling pin over top to remove any excess dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill for another 15-20 minutes in the fridge.
- Remove and line tart dough with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
- Blind-bake for 20 minutes. Remove beans and parchment and if bottom still does not look completely dry, bake for an addition 5-10 minutes, checking regularly. Remove and allow to cool on rack.
Prepare and Arrange filling:
- Meanwhile, combine the minced garlic, finely chopped basil, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Using a sharp knife, slice zucchini into 1/8 inch slices. Using serrated knife, slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Set aside.
- Brush tart shell lightly with basil-garlic oil and sprinkle on all of the parmesan cheese.
- Starting on the outside edge, layer the zucchini and tomato slices alternately in a circular pattern–be sure to tightly layer them against each other (as they will shrink once baked). Try to leave the bigger slices for the outside and small slices for the inner circles. Continue until the entire tart shell is filled (you should have two rings–and you can chop up various small pieces to fill the very center).
- Brush vegetables generously with with basil-garlic oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until the tomatoes and zucchini are soft and lightly caramelized. Optional (but recommended): Place under the broil for 2-3 minutes to finish! Watch carefully during this step to avoid burning the crust.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.