Courgette and ricotta tart

Courgette and ricotta tart

Now this is spectacular – light, delicious and perfect for lunch with vegetables or salad or cut into small pieces to serve with drinks, as I did the other night to much acclaim. It is slightly adapted from a recipe by Nigel Slater (by the way, there’s a great recipe for Greengage frangipane tart in the same article), to make the quantities fit the long, thin tin I have (35 x 12 cm), and also because I prefer a shortcrust pastry to the puff pastry that he uses.

The filling is quite delicate, the courgettes fresh and the parmesan gives a great flavour.

IMG_1039

These quantities serve 4, or make 18 canapé-size pieces.

First make the pastry:
150g plain flour
75g butter
1 tbsp cold water
pinch salt
1 medium egg yolk

Put all in the food processor and blend until it is forming clumps. Knead briefly into a disk, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes or more.

300g courgettes (2 large-ish ones)
1.5 tbsp olive oil
250g ricotta (Nigel uses 400g)
1 clove garlic, crushed
10g basil leaves
50g parmesan, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
150ml cream
2 heaped tbsp plain flour
grated nutmeg

Cut the courgettes into six thin slices (this fits my tin, as you can see – adjust if yours is a different shape). Warm the olive oil in a shallow pan, add the courgettes and leave to soften over a medium heat until they are translucent but still fairly firm.

Heat the oven to 200ºC/Gas 6 and place a baking sheet in the oven, so the pastry crisps well. Roll out the pastry and line the tin. Put the ricotta in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and mix in the garlic, basil leaves (I just used what I had, probably less than 10g), most of the parmesan, the eggs, cream and flour. I grated in a little nutmeg, as it seems to go so well with the ricotta.

Spread the ricotta mixture in the pastry case, arrange the courgettes on top and sprinkle on the remaining parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the tart has puffed up.

At some point I must try it with the full original quantities – I think one would taste the ricotta more which would be nice. This recipe has currently taken over from my long-standing passion for onion tart as my favourite savoury tart.

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