I’ve been making a lot of zucchini recipes lately, so when I saw this ZUCCHINI AND GOAT CHEESE TART I was so curious to make it! I was immediately struck by how gorgeous the tart looked with the uniform zucchini rounds placed in concentric circles. Then, I read about the goat cheese mixture with fresh thyme and lemon and it sounded absolutely delicious. I waited to make the tart for Easter because I felt like it needed a special occasion, but to be honest you can make this any time and it will be occasion enough. This is one of my favorite recipes I’ve made all year and I’m dying to make it again! I would highly recommend it to all of you, too!
Zucchini & Goat Cheese Tart serves 6 (ours served 8) from Ina Garten’s Make It Ahead cookbook
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, 1/2-inch-diced
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
5 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, unpeeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick (choose zucchini that have similar diameter so the slices will be uniform. Slice by hand or with a mandoline)
2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
8 ounces plain, creamy goat cheese, such as Montrachet, at room temperature
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Place the flour, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and the butter in the bowl of a food processor fitting with the steel blade and pulse 12 to 14 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the processor running, pour the vinegar and ice water through the feed tube, and continue to process and pulse until the dough just comes together. Dump out on a floured board, form into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the zucchini in a colander set over a plate. Toss it with 2 teaspoons of salt and set aside for 30 minutes;. Spread the zucchini out on a clean dish towel, roll it up and squeeze gently to remove some of the liquid. Put the zucchini slices into a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. With a fork, mash together the goat cheese ,thyme, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough out on a floured board to an 11-inch circle and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spread the dough with the goat cheese mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Lay the zucchini slices in tightly overlapping circles, starting at the very edge of teh pastry (the zucchini will shrink when it bakes). Continue overlapping circles of zucchini until the whole tart is covered. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Cut in wedges and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Note: To make an 11-inch circle, roll the dough to 12 or 13 minutes in diameter, fold it in quarters, and trim the edge with a sharp knife. When you unfold the pastry, it will be a circle.
We ate this tart at room temperature, but I’m sure it would be just as delicious hot or warm. I love how flaky the crust is and the flavor of the goat cheese with the zucchini is so good! It was the perfect Easter appetizer with some crisp white wine, but I think it would be a lovely vegetarian main dish as well.