I absolutely adore making tarts and this one is simply gorgeous. The tomato zucchini and goat cheese tart is a pure harmony of beautiful colors and flavors. It is light and has no egg and cream based filling. The soft goat cheese gives it a touch of creaminess and balances the sweet notes of the vegetables.
If you can, try to mix and match different tomato varieties. I think it gives an attractive pattern and a more appetizing look to the tart.
In my opinion, vegetable tarts are a nice alternative to simple vegetable dishes and salads when you entertain and need more than one vegetable or vegetarian dish to go with your menu… it’s different and presents well.
One of the interesting components of this dish is the crust, made of a mixture of flour and cornmeal. The crust is crunchy and contrasts well with the soft texture of the zucchini, tomatoes and goat cheese.
If you don’t feel comfortable making the “dough from scratch” I’m sure you can skip that part of the recipe and replace it by the ready made pie crust you usually use for tarts. But don’t use “puff pastry dough”… it won’t have the right structure and texture you need to hold the filling.
Tomato Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart
Adapted from Vegetable of the day. Kate McMillan
Serves 6 to 8
Cornmeal Dough Ingredients
1 cup (155g.) all purpose flour
½ cup (75g.) fine-grind stone-ground cornmeal
6 Tablespoon (90g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¼ cup (60ml) of cold water
2 Tablespoon olive oil
½ lb (250g) zucchini, cut crosswise into slices ⅛ inch (3mm) thick
Freshly ground black pepper
10 oz (225g) fresh goat cheese, crumbled
¾ lb (375g) tomatoes, one size or a mixture of sizes, sliced or halved, depending on size.
1 teaspoon coarsely torn fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
Scale and prep all the ingredients.
You will need: A food processor, a large frying pan, parchment paper and a 9-inch (23 cm) fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
To make the pie crust, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, the cornmeal, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Add the pieces of butter and pulse until the texture looks like coarse crumbs. Add the egg and cold water. Pulse again until the dough begins to come together.
Take the dough out of the food processor (be careful not to cut yourself with the blade). The dough is sticky, so my advice is to flatten it into a disk, and put in the fridge wrapped in plastic film. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
While the dough is resting in the fridge, prepare the filling: In a large frying pan, warm the oil over medium heat, add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the zucchini is softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the cooked zucchinis to a plate lined with paper towel and let it drain.
Heat the oven to 375F (190C).
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch (30cm) circle about ¼ inch (6mm) thick. Carefully transfer the dough to the fluted tart pan. Press the dough into the bottom and the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough overhanging the rim.
Sprinkle half of the cheese over the bottom of the crust. Arrange the tomatoes and zucchini in overlapping concentric circles or another attractive pattern on top of the cheese. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining goat cheese and the thyme.
Bake until the crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, around 40 minutes.
Let the tart cool for 10 minutes. Remove the pan sides, sprinkle with a little bit more thyme, and serve warm or at room temperature.