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