Thursday, March 5, 2015

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart

On the outside, it's a winter wonderland - or nightmare - depending on your perspective. But in my kitchen, spring has sprung, baby.

This Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart  by Ina Garten should lift you from the doldrums of winter. Plus, it gives you a purpose while trapped inside the confines of your home.

This is actually the first winter since becoming a baby momma that I have not turned to The Husband on a Saturday night and declared, "We are the lamest people I have ever met. Take me out immediately."

This recipe involves multiple steps with some waiting in between. So you should give it a whirl when time is on your side. Layering the zucchini slices is quite relaxing. I sliced mine with the slicer attachment of my Cuisinart food processor. Layer them on top of the dough very very closely because they shrink in the oven.

Be sure to roll out the dough when it is really cold. Keep flouring your surface and the dough as needed while turning the dough 90 degrees after a few rolls so that the dough does not stick to your surface. Do it patiently, but with a purpose. You don't want your dough to go all room temp and sticky on you. That will ruin your baking zen, trust me.

I baked mine on a rockin' circular baking sheet that my Mommom hooked me up with from one of her friends who owned a pizza shop waaaaay back in the day. But Ina Garten says you can bake this on a good old rectangular baking sheet.

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart
Serves 6
From "Make it Ahead"
By Ina Garten

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 Tbsp. (1 1/4 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, 1/2-inch dice
1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
5 Tbsp. ice water
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, unpeeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
2 Tbsp. good olive oil, divided
8 ounces plain creamy goat cheese at room temperature
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. grated lemon zest

Place the flour, 3/4 tsp. of salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse 12 to 14 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the processor running, pour the vinegar and ice water through the feed and continue to process and pulse until the dough just comes together. Dump out on a floured board, form into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the zucchini in a colander set over a plate. Toss it with 2 teaspoons of salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Spread the zucchini out on a clean dish towel, roll it up, and squeeze gently to remove some of the liquid. Put the zucchini slices into a bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. With a fork, mash together the goat cheese, thyme, lemon zest and 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. of pepper and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough out on a floured board to an 11 inch circle and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spread the dough with the goat cheese mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Lay the zucchini slices in tightly overlapping circles, start at the very edge of the pastry (the zucchini will shrink when it bakes). Continue overlapping circles of zucchini until the whole tart is covered. Drizzle with remaining Tbsp. of olive oil and sprinkle with pepper. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Cut in wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.