Savory Zucchini Cheese Tart

It is hot as heck today so what I chose to do was bake. Something simple though. And I actually used a pie crust mix I got for my birthday as a gift. I measured out half the package and used it for the base of my zucchini tart. Yeap I know; folks complain about too many zukes and too little flavor. Not this gorgeous tart. It is thin slices layered over a thin lemony cream and goat cheese filling and topped with very thin sliced onions. Baked until the crust was crunchy. Really perfect crust and it is so rich and creamy plus this is super easy to make. Nothing needs to be cooked or fried – all raw; layer it on the raw crust. Bake, Slice, Enjoy. Winner winner hot night’s dinner.

You can use store zuke: I did; had none of my own yet. I did use my own red onion. I bet you could try other veggies but this combo was just so sublime. Narrow slices would make amazing appetizers or maybe cut it into small squares.  If you don’t like goat cheese just use all cream cheese. This is a variation on a Ina Garten recipe; she is a master at this sort of recipe.  Enjoy!

zuke tart, unbaked

zuke tart bakedLemony Zucchini and Cheese Tart

 

Ingredients

One pie crust; I used Bob’s GF Pie crust mix; y ou need 10 Tbsp cold butter or combo of butter and some other buttery spread, 3 Tbsp ice water and that’s it! Follow the directions. Mine needed a good chilling in the fridge before rolling out.

2 medium small zucchinis

1 medium red onion (can use regular yellow onion) sliced very thin (1/2 cup)

4 oz goat cheese plain or herbs (I used herbed) at room temp

4 oz cream cheese at room temp

Zest of half a lemon and about 1-2 Tsp juice from it

½ an egg beaten well

¼ Tsp fresh rosemary, minced finely

½ Tsp. fresh thyme leaves, off stem

EVOL; about 1-2 Tbsp.

Fresh ground black pepper

Directions: Made the pie crust, let chill while you do the veggies.  Slice the zucchini about 1/8 thick; less than ¼ inch thick.  I used a sharp paring knife. I know, the mandolin slicer; I do have one but sometimes it is just seems like too much work to get it out and set it up. I didn’t want the slices super thin anyway. Plus I enjoy knife work. Suit yourself.  Slice the peeled onion across in very thin circles. Put zuke slices in a colander and sprinkle with sea salt; ½-1 Tsp.; try to get it on both sides. Let stand 30-40 minutes. Then wipe with a few paper towels or a lint free tea towel to get off most of the moisture.  In a small bowl mix the two cheeses until smooth; add egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs. Blend well.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out pie crust into 11 inch circle; put on heavy pizza pan. Top with cheese mix; spread to ½ inch of the edge of your crust. Top with the thin slices of dried off zuke overlapping a bit in concentric circles. To fill the entire area with the cheese spread. Then sprinkle on top the red onion, which you have separated into rings. Top with a good drizzle of decent EVOL and a few grinds of fresh pepper.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Until crust is well browned. If it is getting too brown turn oven down to 375; I did. Monitor closely; no burnt top please! Let cool before cutting. Enjoy.  zuke tart slice

Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese

Fresh figs, gotta say I have a bit of an obsession with them.  Have had it for most of my life; my dad adored them and we had a fig tree by the house, not that it ever got that many ripe figs on it.  Once he took me to meet the old Italian lady who gave him the fig bush, Mrs. Almada.  She was ancient but friendly and her fig tree was pretty impressive.  I remember buying fresh figs when I was just married in my early 20’s; saw them in the supermarket and had to have a package of six to enjoy, no matter the cost. Dried figs taste okay but fresh figs are amazing.                             fig-bush                                   white_kadota_fig_tree

So, many years ago after buying a house and starting to garden…I planted some fig trees. I have 3-4 different varieties.  Not sure why they are called trees as they are really more of a bush.  Well, here in Pennsylvania that is the case.  When I looked at pictures of fig trees from other places they were actually trees! Here they tend to die to the ground or near it so they never get that big or form a true tree shape.

Anyway, not that many ripe figs on my trees over the years; a few here and there and most falls a couple nearly ripe ones I eat anyway despite their somewhat poor under ripe flavor.   This hot hot summer, my bush branches are mostly full of figs and they are ripening! Wonderful. I picked one or two a couple of weeks ago, then 3 then 5 last weekend and then 7 today.  Eating them out of hand is is really tasty but so many figs ripening…needed another way to enjoy them.  figs-flowers-018

Saw this recipe for figs with goat cheese and honey. http://www.flavourandsavour.com/fresh-figs-goat-cheese-honey/

Simple yet elegant if sticky! Great light appetizer in September.

fresh-figs-with-goat-cheese

Recipe: This is approximate.  Cut each fig across in an x but don’t cut all the way to the bottom.  Put a tsp. of goat cheese; I used some with herbs in it…put that cheese in the center of the cut fig.  Drizzle a tsp. of honey over 5-6 of them.  The recipe said to sprinkle with black pepper or lavender seeds. I skipped that part.  Let me know if you try either.  I did eat one without the honey; not as good, the goat cheese needs that honey to sweeten it to the tastiest bite. An after note: I tried some floral black pepper from Trader Joe’s on them the other night and it was very good; if you have some of that pepper give it a go; yummers!

Recently I found a recipe for a gluten free fig and Greek yogurt cake.  Just need a few more ripe figs and you better believe I will be baking one.

If you don’t have fig bushes, check in the fresh fruit section of your grocery store for fresh figs. Yummy and good for you too. They are full of nutrients and are a great sorce of fiber – important for those of us who are gluten free.  Enjoy!