Saturday, July 18, 2009

My take on Heidi's tart

I spent some of the afternoon today making 101 Cookbooks Lasagna Tart, but with a few variants, as follows:

2 medium zucchini, grated
1 TBLS olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Tart Crust
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
4 TBLS salted butter
4 TBLS vegetable shortening - I like Earth Balance, tho their current flashy web site is maybe a bit much!
finely grated zest of one lemon
scant 1/2 cup cold water

Tomato Sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
scant 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
pinch of salt
1 10-ounce can tomato puree
2 TBLS tomato paste
grate of nutmeg

a few TBLS pesto if you've got some
1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated mozzarella

Prepare the zucchini: heat the oil in a large skillet, and add the grated zucchini. Cook and stir a few minutes, until it gets a little transparent. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a strainer to drain.

Make the tart shell: measure the flour into a bowl, and grate in the lemon zest. Slice the butter and shortening in, and cut the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal - using your fingers, 2 knives or a pastry blender. You can also do this in a food processor, or mixer. Drizzle in the cold water with the mixer running, or mix with a fork, or by pulsing the blender, just until the dough comes together in lumps - stop before it's a ball. Dump out on a lightly floured surface, gather into a ball, and wrap in plastic or wax paper and chill for about 30 minutes. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a circle roughly 13-inches across. Ease the pastry into your tart pan and press it into the corners and up the sides without stretching the dough. Trim away any excess dough, and place the pan in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes, or freeze it for 15. Prick the crust with a fork a few times, and line the shell with parchment paper and fill the tart with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove the paper and pie weights, and return the crust to the oven for another five minutes or so. Check and if it bubbles up, prick it a bit more, and coax it to lie down flat with a fork. Transfer it to a rack to cool. Leave the oven on, but turn it down to 350F.

Make the sauce: Combine the garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt together in a small, cold saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook until the garlic starts to sizzle just a bit. Stir in the tomato puree, mix well, and add the tomato paste and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer, cook till it thickens a bit, maybe 10 minutes, then remove from heat.

Assemble the tart: Spread the pesto onto the bottom of the tart shell first if you're using it. Then use a rubber spatula to spread the ricotta cheese over the pesto. Add thr zucchini next, followed by the sauce.

Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top, and bake until the cheese is melted, and a little colored.

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