Zucchini and Chèvre Tart with Moroccan Flavours
We travelled through Morocco with friends staying in unique and beautiful riads along the way. However, it was the first trip we’ve taken in almost 30 years that didn’t include working kitchens. Cooking with local ingredients is one of my joys when travelling, and on this trip, I learned I get kind of itchy and antsy if I can’t cook. Near the end of our Moroccan tour, we stayed at a friend’s house and had the chance to play in their kitchen this Zucchini and Chèvre Tart was one of the creations. I hope that you enjoy it. Please continue reading here to see the photos from our travels.
Zucchini and Chèvre Tart with Moroccan Spices
- 1/4 cups Flour
- 1 tbsp + 1.5 tsp Ras el Hanout see notes
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 8 tbsp Unsalted Butter chilled
- 1/4 cup milk very cold, plus extra if needed
- 1 Egg White optional
- 4 medium Zucchini sliced lengthwise 1/8-inch thick
- 1 tsp Shallot Powder or Onion Powder see notes
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 oz Fresh Goat Cheese chèvre, softened
- 4 oz Cream Cheese softened
- 1 Egg
- 1 zest of Lemon
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Place the flour, 1 tablespoon ras el hanout and salt in a large bowl; whisk together. Cut butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Toss together with your hands, then pinch the butter into the flour mixture until you have small flakes of butter (think cornflakes). Add the milk and toss with a fork until it starts coming together. Finish bringing it together with your hands until it forms a ball, adding more milk, a teaspoon at a time if needed.
- Roll out the pastry on a well-floured board/counter until 13 inches in diameter (about 1/8 inch thick). The dough will be very soft, but it will still roll well. Transfer to a 10-11-inch tart pan and press into the bottom and sides, trimming any excess. Put the crust in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line the tart crust with aluminum foil or parchment and fill with pie weights or beans; bake for 12 minutes. If you have an egg white on hand, brush the base of the tart crust as soon as it comes out of the oven. This will create a moisture barrier between the crust and the cheese. Let cool.
- Place zucchini slices in a large bowl and sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons ras el hanout, shallot powder, and salt. Add olive oil and, using your hands, toss to coat; set aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
For the Cheese:
- For the cheese layer of the filling, blend the cheese, egg, lemon zest, salt, and sugar using a hand mixer or wooden spoon. When smooth, spread the cheese filling evenly over the bottom of the cooled crust. Arrange marinated zucchini strips on top of the cheese in a decorative pattern, overlapping them and covering the entire tart. Drizzle any remaining oil and spice left in the bowl over the top of the tart. Bake for 45 minutes or until puffed. Place it under the broiler for a few minutes if you want more colour. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. It can be served hot, at room temperature, or cool. It’s not great right out of the fridge.
I find onion powder too strong and “tinny,” so I pulverize dried shallots to make shallot powder. Dried shallots are available at Penzeys, among other places.