Friday, December 27, 2013

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart

This dish is beautiful and would make a lovely addition to your special New Year's Eve dinner. - 37 Cooks






Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart
by Woo

serves 2 generously or 4 lightly

1 sheet of puff pastry (I used Pepperidge Farm, thawed and unfolded)
1 medium zucchini with a nice uniform shape 
1 medium yellow squash with a uniform shape
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 sprig of fresh thyme
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 Tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten, for glazing
olive oil for sauté
salt and pepper to taste (seriously season everything as you go)

First the puff pastry. I used Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, thawed, and unfolded.

Fold over the edges of the puff pastry sheet about 1/2" to form a border. (Or you can do it the hard way and slice about 1/2"-3/4" off each side, depending on how thick you want the edge of the lip to be. Set the strips aside. Place the sheet of puff pastry onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner. Use the strips to build a border around the edge of the remaining sheet of puff pastry. A tiny dab of water or egg is all it needs to stick. Trim the ends as needed. Now you should have a square piece of puff pastry with a lip all around.)  Dock the inside surface of the pastry. Brush a little beaten egg over the top of interior surface. Put the puff pastry on the sheet pan into the refrigerator while you do the rest.

To make the squash lattice top for the tart, make enough long slices of zucchini to cover the tart if the slices were laid side by side plus one more. Then make enough long slices of yellow squash to cover the tart plus one more. The number of slices you need will depend on how big the squash are. I slice them the long way on the mandolin. Pick out the best slices/ribbons for the lattice top. With a light hand, sprinkle a little kosher salt over the slices and set aside.

Finely dice the remaining squash and set aside.

Sauté the finely diced onion with a little olive oil over medium heat. Allow onions to pick up some caramelize and develop flavor. Season with salt and pepper. Remove onions to a bowl and set aside. In the same skillet saute the diced squash and zucchini with olive oil, garlic, and the fresh thyme. Allow the squash to pick up some golden brown color. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

Combine thoroughly the softened goat cheese with the ricotta, finely grated Parmesan, and caramelized onions. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the pastry sheet from the refrigerator. Spread the goat cheese and onion mixture in the pastry shell. Top with the sauteed squash.

Blot the excess water that has leached from the ribbons of squash you set aside for the lattice top. Blot both sides of the slices. Lay the zucchini ribbons side by side, overlapping the edges slightly as it will shrink during cooking. Then fold back every other one about half way back and weave in a ribbon of yellow squash. Repeat until the entire top of the tart is covered. Trim ends to neaten appearance or tuck the ends into the filling. Brush the top of the squash lattice with melted butter or olive oil. Brush the lip of the tart with the egg wash.

Bake entire tart at 400°F for 20 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown. Allow to cool before slicing. Good slightly warm or at room temperature.

Serve drizzled with a little balsamic reduction and paired with lightly dressed salad of mixed baby greens for a light lunch. Crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a sparkling wine would be good with this dish. I think this would also be great on a brunch buffet with smoked salmon and asparagus...and mimosas or bellinis. Small slices of the tart would make a great hors d'oeuvre. Enjoy!

See Woo's original post here.

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