Zucchini Tart with Basil Ricotta Filling

Tarts with puff pastry are one of my favorite things to make. They look super impressive and are deceptively easy.

I guess you could make your own puff pastry from scratch, but unless I’m making croissants or pain au chocolat, I always buy this frozen variety from Dufour. It tastes like homemade, it looks beautiful, and it bakes up well in the oven. It’s the perfect vehicle for whatever you want to put on top.

For this tart, I shaved some zucchini really thin using a mandoline peeler and put them on top of a basil ricotta filling. Slicing zucchini super thin is key because thick zucchini will make the crust too watery.

You can also eliminate some water from the zucchini ahead of time by tossing the slices in salt, letting them sit for a while, and then gently wringing out the liquid with a paper towel. Yes, it’s an additional step, but trust me, it’s worth it. The zucchini will hold its texture and not be so soggy after you bake it.

I really like the zucchini/basil/ricotta combo in this tart, but you could get creative with fillings. A pesto spread or even crème fraîche would taste good with some vegetables on top.

Tarts like this always go really fast in my house. My boyfriend and I ate almost all of it in one sitting, and then I had a slice the next day for lunch. I always wish I had more after I finish it.

Here’s a song to get you started on your zucchini tart journey. It’s a throwback that resurfaced earlier this afternoon as I was procrastinating work and browsing music.

Zucchini Tart with Basil Ricotta Filling

Ingredients

1 medium zucchini, sliced thin with a mandoline peeler
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup full-fat ricotta cheese
1 handful basil leaves
2 tsp lemon juice
1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tbsp water

Directions

Place the zucchini in a colander and toss with 2 tsp of salt. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour. This gives the zucchini time to shed excess water. When it’s done, gently wring it out piece by piece using paper towels and pat dry. Set aside for later.

Pulse the olive oil, ricotta cheese, basil leaves, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in a food processor until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Unfold the puff pastry onto the sheet, being careful not to rip it. With a sharp knife, carefully score the pastry 1/4 inch from the edges, making sure not to cut all the way through the dough. Spread your ricotta mixture evenly over the pastry, not going past the border you made with you knife. Arrange the zucchini evenly over the top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg yolk. Bake the tart for 20-25 min, or until the crust is puffed and golden brown. Cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

About Emily Wasserman

Hi! My name is Emily and I'm a writer based in St. Louis. If I was stranded on an island and could request three items of food, they would be pain au chocolat, enchiladas, and Neapolitan pizza.
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