Happy Summer ! Well, the temperature here in Fresno has been over 100 degrees this week ! But that doesn't stop me from making my weekly trek to my favorite Farmer's Market. The market has been a glorious array of colors and bounty. I've been buying peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, strawberries, boysenberries, peppers, zucchini, green beans, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, English and Armenian cucumbers, raisins, nuts.....and well, you get the picture !
All the best chefs and cooks will tell you to cook with what is growing in season, so spying the shiny zucchini and the glistening tomatoes makes me think of this French Goat Cheese Zuchini Tomato Tart !
I used to participate in the Santa Barbara French Festival, having had a booth where I had my artwork and greeting cards for sale. My booth happened to be placed beside Santa Barbara Catering, who sell delicious Nicoise salads, goat cheese zucchini tomato tarts, and other wonderful delights to eat ! Talk about a mouth watering placement ! One of the owners told me how to make these tarts, so here is what I recall to the best of my ability. I am using filo dough in this recipe, and I believe that SB Catering uses puff pastry for the crust, which would be a little easier and quicker ! I have made this tart with family...It's fun to make ! So gather your family or friends and create it together !
French Goat Cheese Zuchini Tomato Tart
1 package Filo pastry (I like to find whole wheat if available.)
1/2 cup olive oil
4 medium sized zuchini squash, sliced in circles 1/8 inch thick
1 medium sized red onion, sliced in 1/8 inch half circles
4 medium sized tomatoes, sliced in 1/4 inch circles
1 - 8 oz. cold goat cheese log (Keep this in the refrigerator for firmness, until needed.)
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons dried Herbs de Provence
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Open up a package of filo dough. Take 4 sheets of dough off of the stack, and lay them on a baking sheet, or a piece of parchment paper a little longer than the dough. (If you want to make two tarts, double these directions.) Put 1/3 cup olive oil in a small bowl and get out a pastry brush. Put the rest of the dough inside the plastic bag and tape the ends, to freeze for another time. Cut the sheets in half the long way, stack them on top of each other, and cover them with with a damp dish towel. Uncover the filo sheets and brush each one with the olive oil, laying them on top of each other,and stack on a baking sheet. Fold all four edges of the sheets inside, 1/2 inch to make an outside crust.
Slice all the vegetables according to the thicknesses stated in the ingredients list, with a knife or a mandoline. (I love my mandoline because it makes such uniform cuts. Use extreme caution with one though, because they are so sharp !) Slightly overlap the zucchini circles in 2 or 3 rows. Lay a row of tomato slices down the center. Sprinkle the onion slices over all of the tart. Open the cold goat cheese log and crumble small goat cheese pieces over all. Then sprinkle the herbs de Provence or fresh basil, or both on top. Drizzle some olive oil over all. Bake the tart for 15-20 minutes or until the tart is golden brown. Cut the tart in 3 inch pieces. Mangez avec delices....Eat with delight !