David Scott AllenProvencal RecipesStarter CourseTaste

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.

moroccan spiced zucchini and chèvre tart

Zucchini and Chèvre Tart with Moroccan Spices

David Scott Allen I Cocoa & Lavender
A delicious Zucchini tart recipe that can be served as a main course (4-6 people) or a first course (8-12 people). 
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Starter Course
Cuisine French
Servings 8 people

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

ras el hanout is a blend of spices from Morocco and other North African communities. It translates to “head of the house,” meaning that the spices used are up to the shop owner — each is different. My blend includes allspice, anise, bay, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, ginger, mace, nutmeg, sweet and hot paprika, and turmeric. There are many recipes online so that you can make your own.
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.
Keyword Cheese, Goat Cheese, Tarts, Zucchini
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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