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

Fig, Goat Cheese, Pancetta and Carmelized Onion Pizza

I have been picking dozens of figs most days in recent weeks. Getting creative in my cooking in order to use up this bounty and so I’m enjoying them in lots of new dishes. Pinterest is my closest bud these joyous weeks of fig festival in my tiny kitchen. Last Friday I whipped up my favorite gf pizza dough baked it for ten minutes and flipped it. Then came the toppings. Never had figs on a pizza, but won’t be the last time! My fridge held some pancetta which is uncured Italian bacon that was purchased at Aldi’s for a rediculously low price, as was a container of tiny fresh mozzarella and a log of herbed goat cheese. Some onions which I carmelized and Bam! My oven produced an amazing treat for supper. I felt like I was in Italy at a small restaurant enjoying the local fare!

Note to all, my computer croaked the end of last week so I am typing one finger on my tablet, no access to Word either. So my apologies for any and all  mistakes in my last post or in this one. Normally I am constantly double checking names, products and prior posts as I create a new post. Not so much of that here in this laborious tablet production.

I promise this pizza is going to change your taste buds into fig pizza lovers. One more great fig recipe discovery. I took elements out of several recipes to create this delightful dish. It went together really quickly. Enjoy!

PS, it was still great warmed up the next day but with two or three hungry folks, there won’t be any leftovers.

 

Angie’s Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza

one large gf pizza crust. See my previous pizza post or use your own recipe.

8-12 ripe fresh brown figs

4 oz. herbed goat cheese, Aldi’s has a great goat cheese at a super price

most of a pint container of fresh tiny mozzarella cheese balls

2 good sized onions

1 Tbsp. EVOL

2-3 ounces pancetta, Aldi’s has a small container, already chopped

a big handful of kale shredded finely

Directions

Slice the onions into rounds. Heat EVOL in a cast iron frying pan, add onion slices. Cook over medium low heat stirring often so it doesn’t burn. Cook 8 -15 minutes until carmelized. Set aside on a plate. Add pancetta to same frying pan and cook a few minutes to render out the fat. Do not overcook. Remove from pan to a small bowl. Add the kale to the frying pan and cook on low a few minutes until it wilts, stir often. Let cool.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Slice the goat cheese into thin rounds, cut the mozzarella balls in half. Slice the figs in half or quarter them if large.

Assemble: spread the carmelized onions evenly over the partially baked crust. I like to flip the crust before topping. Spread the goat cheese slices evenly over the surface,  Scatter the mozzarella cheese between the goat cheese and top with the cooked pancetta. Then scatter the fig pieces evenly over it.  Evenly is so every slice has a decent amount of both cheeses and the other components.

65E9A88F-5495-46E1-9F79-38851BC15477

Bake pizza 8-10 minutes. Scatter kale over the top. Let stand 3-5 minutes before slicing and serving. If you can stand that long of a wait to enjoy your masterpiece of a pizza!CFF4F2B8-6D22-4AE6-94C7-A13B6222B266

 

Fig and Goat Cheese Galette

Figs are delightful in the late summer and early fall. This year my fig trees are full of fruit with several dozen figs ripening over about two week’s time. Lately I pick 2-3 dozen every day or two. I made a super delicious fig and yogurt cake the other weekend. Next I put together a figgy dessert in the tart family.  This is my take on the wide variety of fig and custard/honey/cheese tart recipes. FYI: a galette is a free form flat round French tart. Now you know! One of my friends was all “wow you cook stuff I have never heard of and did your mom cook like that?” My response was “nope; Mom never baked a galette. But she was a great cook and I just love trying new things. ” I truly love galettes as they are so easy; just roll out the dough; lay on the filling; crimp up the edges and maybe a bit of egg wash and a sprinkle of sugar and into the oven it goes. Plus I like how they generally aren’t that sweet or tricked out with a ton of ingredients. Simple, tasty, and pretty to look at.  Dessert perfection…

I used my favorite gluten free crust recipe plus some cinnamon.  This crust never fails to impress; it is flaky and tender. Never tough or too buttery. Sweet juicy figs are the bomb! Finally, the herbed goat cheese added an intriguing slightly savory flavor to the overall taste. A big slice was just delicious with a glass of lemony iced tea. Enjoy!

 

 

Fig and Goat Cheese Galette

Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

¼-½ tsp. cinnamon

6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 lg egg

2 tsp fresh lemon juice (use juice from zested lemon; below)

Line a 15 inch pizza pan with parchment paper.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes.  Then roll out and put on the parchment lined pan; put back in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Goat Cheese filling:

4 oz package herbed goat cheese, room tem

2 oz light or regular cream cheese, room temp.

2 tbsp. local honey (good stuff)

1 egg beaten well, mix in 1 tsp. water

2 tsp. rough brown crystal sugar for topping

Fruit part:

7-9 ounces of ripe figs: 8-10 large or maybe 14-16 small

Directions: Zest a small lemon. I do this onto wax paper for ease of picking up later. Use some of the juice for the crust.  You can leave the zest out if you are not a big fan.  You do need the juice in the crust; can use fresh squeezed OJ too.

Get out the tart crust and roll out to a large circle. Place on the parchment paper; I unpeeled one side of the rolling plastic and flopped the whole thing onto the parchment and then peeled off the other side of plastic leaving the crust on the parchment. Blend the goat cheese, cream cheese and honey using a whisk. Add half the beaten egg, beat some more until well blended Spread the mixture out on the crust.  Leave 1.5-2 inches of crust around the filling. Top with halved or quartered figs; mine were small; halved them, cut side up. Fold up the edges of your crust and pinch together to create the galette shape.  Use a pastry brush to brush the crust with the remaining egg wash. Sprinkle the sugar crystals over the crust and some on the figs. fig galette with sugar sprinkled onBake for 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Sprinkle the lemon zest on before you bake it or half way through the baking.  Let your tart rest a bit on a cooling rack; don’t serve hot but a slightly warm slice will taste amazing.  It was still great the next day although the crust wasn’t quite as crisp due to high humidity. Enjoy!

fig galette baked

 

Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur basic gf blend)

2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch – not potato flour!

1/3 c tapioca flour

fig galette slice

The crust recipe is from Annalise Roberts great cookbook, GF Baking Classics, Second Edition.

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!