A Savoury Zucchini Tart Recipe for all Seasons
We all know that French pastry chefs have perfected tempting (and beautiful) fruit tarts, but there is an equally long repertoire of savoury tarts. Perhaps the best known is a classic quiche Lorraine. Then there is the delicious combination of sliced onion, lardon and crème fraîche that makes Flammekueche (Tarte Flambée) from Alsace rival pizza. And, honestly simple tomato tart in the heart of Provence’s summer is unbeatable.
Depending on where you live, this savoury tart could work in any season. What I have made today in Arizona, is more of a spring-into-summer tart; in New England, these ingredients would be summer; south of the equator, they’d be available a few months from now.
However, you can play around with different seasonable vegetables to make it in any season: fava beans, thinly-sliced winter squashes, caramelized onions or shallots, sautéed bitter greens, chopped and drained tomatoes. The possibilities are endless. I simply recommend using what is fresh and seasonal in your market. Enjoy the recipe below and check out the preparation photos on Cocoa & Lavender here.
For the Crust
- 2 cups Flour
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 12 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 tsp White Vinegar
- Water as needed
For the Filling
- 1/2 cup Cream
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- 16 oz Zucchini
- 16 oz Yellow Summer Squash
- 2 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tbsp Chives snipped
- 4 large Eggs
- 12 Asparagus Spears cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tsp Coarsely Grated Lemon Zest
- Heat the oven to 425°F. Mix cream and lemon juice in a medium bowl and set aside for use in the filling.
For the Crust
- Place flour and 1 teaspoon of salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse twice to distribute the salt. Add chilled butter into 24 pieces and pulse 10-12 times. Blend the egg yolk and vinegar in a small bowl, then whisk in 1/4 cup of ice water. Add this to the flour and butter mixture and pulse 24 times (long pulses) or until the dough comes together.
- Shape dough into a square, then roll it into a 14-inch square. Brush the outer 1/2 inch of the crust with water (all the way around). Roll 1/2-inch of each side over to create a raised border; crimp or pinch the border with a decorative pattern. Transfer to a parchment-lined 13-inch by 18-inch baking sheet. Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork. Place in the refrigerator.
For the Filling
- Cut the squashes in half lengthwise and then in 1/4-inch half-moons. Toss the squash with the oil; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes, or until they begin to take on colour.
- Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Add the mustard and chives (or equivalent amount of other herbs that appeal to you) to the thickened cream mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Working within the raised pastry edging, spread the cream mixture evenly over the pastry. Next, spread the roasted zucchini over the cream, making four slight gaps or nests in the four quadrants in which to nestle the eggs.
- Break an egg into each indentation. Strew the asparagus overall but the yolks. Sprinkle lemon zest all over, and season with salt and pepper. Bake 20 minutes, or until egg whites are set, and yolks are still runny (or a little longer, if you prefer firm yolks). Cut into four pieces and serve immediately.