I’m always confused when I see the term “pie” or “tart” to represent something savory. I almost feel like I’m being tricked. I have that same problem with salads–aren’t they supposed to have leaves in them? (It’s not that big of a problem, it has never kept me from a good meal.)
But what else to call it? It’s cooked in a tart pan and it uses a pie/pastry crust. The only real difference is that it’s not filled with some kind of sweet dessert. Of course, there are some versions of this basic combination that I am entirely comfortable with, for instance, the quiche. That follows the combo exactly: tart/pie pan + pastry crust + filled with savory instead of sweet. It’s just that quiches don’t leave me unsettled. It has a distinct name, quiche. So that’s OK, I guess.
Now, as I basically said, I don’t let this affect my enjoyment of the tart. I can deal with calling it almost anything as long as it is tasty, and this is no exception. I had actually been wanting to make this for quite some time now. I saw this recipe in a French food magazine and thought it looked fantastic. They call it “Tarte aux Courgettes”. It still uses the word “tarte”, but I don’t care, it sounds so much better in French. Mais presque tout est meilleure en français, non?
The ingredients even came together better than I expected. I don’t know if I would have reached for mint if their instructions didn’t call for it, but wow, what a great idea. This recipe creates a great, light, refreshing tart. I’ve been eating leftovers for lunch and as a quick breakfast. It’s terrific right from the fridge.
Can serve 6-8. From June 2010 Saveurs magazine in France.
3 zucchinis, sliced thin
7oz (200g) feta
7oz (200g) ricotta
fresh mint (8-12 large leaves, sliced into ribbons)
frozen pie part dough (I used puff pastry)
1. Preheat the oven to 450F. If using puff pastry, let thaw slightly on the counter so it doesn’t break when unfolded. Fit into a 12-inch tart pan. Chill the tart for 15-20 minutes. When chilled, prick the bottom with a fork several times. Fill the tart with dry beans or something to weigh and fill the crust. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool, then remove the beans and continue with the rest of the recipe.
Note: Blind baking is not necessary, but I find that it helps create a crisper crust. If you are short on time (or just feeling lazy) you can skip that step.
2. In a large skillet with a little olive oil, saute the zucchini slices until slightly browned. (I worked in two batches.)
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together. Then combine with the ricotta and mint until smooth. Mix with the crumbled feta.
4. Add about a third of the cheese mixture to the tart pan, scatter some of the zucchini over it and cover with the remaining mixture. Layer the remaining zucchini over the tart, don’t worry if they touch or overlap.
5. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool until set.