A gardener's favorite, the prolific zucchini plant produces two edibles, flowers and fruit. Picked when young and still relatively small, courgette is at its sweetest peak and flavorful best. Long, narrow ribbons of zucchini are easy to work with and make for a stunning lattice presentation for a savory tart. A combination of mild cheeses coax out the summer squash's sweet flavor.
Ingredients1 (14 ounce) package quality puff pastry whole milk ricotta 4 ounce log mild goat cheese 1/3 cup parmesan, finely grated 1 large clove garlic, grated 1 lemon zested 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 4 (7" to 8") zucchinis, sliced into ribbons 1/4" thick with a mandoline 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 egg plus 1 teaspoon water, whisked thoroughly Maldon Sea Salt Flakes and freshly ground black pepper Edible flowers, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and defrost at room temperature.
- Put the ricotta, goat cheese, parmesan, grated garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Reserve.
- Unfold the thawed puff pastry and form into a 1/4" thick (it usually comes this size) rectangle. Use a knife to make the rectangle uniform. Poke the puff pastry with a fork to prevent it from forming high rise bubbles while baking. Use a paring knife to score the edges of the pastry (1/2" slices on the diagonal around the perimeter making certain not to cut all the way through--this will ensure an even rise)
- Place the puff pastry back in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
- In a LARGE CAST IRON SKILLET, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini ribbons and sauté until lightly golden brown, flip and repeat.
- Working quickly, spread the cheese mixture over the puff pastry to with 1/2" of the pastry border.
- Begin the lattice weave by laying slices of the zuchhini next to each other (touching) from left to right 8 parallel strips of the zucchini, on top of the filling and 1/2" in from the edge of the dough. Fold back every other strip. Place a strip of zucchini perpendicular to the parallel strips. Unfold the folded strips over the perpendicular strip.Now take the parallel strips that are running underneath the perpendicular strip and fold them back over the perpendicular strip, as shown. Lay down a second perpendicular strip of zucchini next to the first strip. Unfold the folded parallel strips over the second strip. Continue this process until the weave is complete. It will take multiple zucchini strips in each direction, just cut and trim so that the pieces that are not whole are hidden under the lattice work.
- Trim the zucchini to a uniform size all the way around the tart. Brush the zucchini strips with olive oil and the edges of the tart with the egg wash.
- Place the tart on the bottom shelf of the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown (if air bubbles form, pop them with a sharp knife).
- Let cool for 5 minutes and sprinkle with sea salt flakes, pepper, and the edible flowers.
Large zucchini are fibrous, watery, and lacking flavor, choose smaller in diameter and 6" to 8" length zucchini. Quickly sauteeing the zucchini gives the tart gorgeous color, but has little impact on taste--skip this step if time is of the essence. Dufour makes an outstanding frozen puff pastry. Borage blossoms, chive blossoms, and violas are wonderful edible flower options. Prettiest cut into squares with a pizza cutter. May be eaten hot or at room temperature.