Mid-August is the end of summer for me. It’s back to school (whatever that looks like this year) and the winding down of my garden. Usually, I have an overabundance of zucchini and cherry tomatoes. Not so much this year, but what I did have made a delicious Italian Ricotta Zucchini Tart.
My garden was beautiful this year! Lush and green, but it did not produce well 🙁
Sorta goes with the whole 2020 theme this year. But I did manage to get a couple of beautiful zucchini and a small amount of cherry tomatoes. I haven’t totally given up yet as we have another month of growing…hopefully?
I wanted to make at least one recipe that showcased the veggies I was able to harvest. I know turning on the oven in summer is terrible if you don’t have air, but we do so on went the oven.
I keep several what I consider staple items in my freezer: pie crust dough and puff pastry dough. You can make almost anything with them, like Italian Ricotta Zucchini Tart.
While the recipe sounds complicated, it really isn’t. Blind bake the pie crust and roast a few cherry tomatoes….since you have the oven on anyway.
Tip: whatever you are doing with zucchini, place them on some paper towel sprinkle them with salt, and sit for about 20 minutes. Zucchini has a lot of water, and this step will help get rid of some of the water and make for a better end result in your recipe. Be sure to blot them with more paper towels before using them.
Then it’s just a matter of layering the veggies with some sweet onions and a ricotta cheese basil mixture. Basil is the best friend of both zucchini and tomatoes. Basil is one thing flourishing in my garden.
Placing panko crumbs on the bottom of the tart keep the bottom of the crust from being soggy from any excess moisture from the veggies. The on top with Parmesan, it gives a beautiful crunchy topping.
Tim and I ate this dish with grilled Italian Sausage, but it is a perfect light lunch or dinner. It’s even good cold for lunch the next day.
I’m sure many of you have an abundance of zucchini and tomatoes, so give Italian Ricotta Zucchini Tart a try….you will be glad you did!Print
Italian seasonings and ricotta bring out the best in a layered zucchini and roasted tomato tart.
1 –9-inch pie crust ( I use store-bought)
1 large zucchini, sliced thin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon avocado oil, divided
2 cups roasted cherry tomatoes
8 oz ricotta cheese
1 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a tart pan with the pie dough. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the pie shell 10-12 times. Line the pie shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Rice also works as a pie weight.
Press the beans or pie weights all the way across the pan to ensure the sides of the shell won’t slip as it bakes.
Blind bake the pie shell until the dough is baked through and just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and take out whatever pie weights you used. Place the tart back into the oven until the bottom is no longer wet looking.
While the crust is baking, trim the ends from the zucchini and cut into 1/8″ thin slices. I use a mandoline. (You can find them very inexpensively these days)
Line a couple of baking sheets with paper towels and place the zucchini slices on the paper towels in a single layer. Generously sprinkle the zucchini with salt and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes. When ready to use blot the zucchini with more paper toweling to remove the moisture.
On a small baking sheet, place the 2 cups of cherry tomatoes and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon avocado oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place in oven and roast until tomatoes start to split 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a small skillet, saute the onion until soft and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic fennel seed, oregano, and red pepper flakes and continue to cook until fragrant.
In a medium-size, bowl combine the ricotta cheese, basil, and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Add the egg to the ricotta and mix well.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs across the bottom of the pie shell.
Layer zucchini, onion mixture, and ricotta mixture beginning and ending with zucchini.
Place roasted cherry tomatoes over the last zucchini layer. I keep mine in the center, but feel free to spread them over the entire tart.
Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan and bread crumbs and sprinkle evenly over the bottom tart.
Bake for about an hour. Until the top of the pie is browned and the juices are bubbling in the middle.
Cool for an hour before slicing so the juices can reabsorb.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers are a perfect lunch, slightly chilled.
Keywords: zucchini, cherry tomatoes, ricotta cheese, basil, parmesan cheese, onion, bake, tart