Tag Archives: Savory

Zucchini and Tomato Tart

Only one more test to go (my last practical for my entire educational career!), then I’m a free woman!  My test isn’t until 8:30 tomorrow night, which gives me quite a bit of time to study (and agonize) until it’s all over.

I was searching for recipes using zucchini (since it appears I will be receiving yet more of it in my CSA box tomorrow), and I found this very yummy-looking tart from The Flour SackSince I haven’t made real food in a while, I thought it’d be a nice change from having Fritz grill everything while I cram for exams.

Zucchini and Tomato Tart Printable Recipe Cards

for the crust:

  • 2 C whole-wheat flour (you should probably use pastry flour, but I used straight whole-wheat)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • scant 1/2 C ice water

for the filling:

  • 1 C fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 C feta cheese
  • 1/4 C mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 C thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

top:

  • 1 medium to large zucchini, sliced thinly
  • handful of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • drizzle of olive oil (about a T)

This is a bit of a complex recipe, just in terms of how many bits and pieces there are to prepare, so make sure you have a little counter space and time available to you before starting.

Start with the crust.  Oil a 10-inch tart pan.  Combine the flour and salt in the mixer bowl, then drizzle the olive oil over the top while the mixer is running.  It should form small little balls throughout the flour (some flour will remain dry).  Slowly add the ice water until all the flour is moistened, and stop the mixer.  Move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice to form a ball before rolling out to a large circle.  Lightly place onto the tart pan, press into place, and cut off the excess edges.

I didn’t have a tart pan, so I used a slightly smaller pie pan.  It worked fine, but I think the larger size would work better in making a thinner tart that cooks more quickly and evenly.  I used the extra edges to make four small mini-tarts–so cute!

Refrigerate the crusts for at least half an hour, then place them in the oven (preheated at 375 degrees) for 15 minutes, weighted down with pie weights or dried beans over a piece of parchment paper.  After 15 minutes, remove the weights and paper and let it toast for another 5 minutes.

While the crust is chilling and cooking, set up the zucchini.  Because they have such a high water content, toss the thin slices with a pinch of salt and lay them out on paper towels.  This will let them release some water before they drown your tart while cooking.

Mix the filling ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.  When the crusts are ready, spoon the filling into an even layer.  Dab the zucchini slices with a paper towel to dry them, then layer in a circular pattern over the top.  Drop the grape tomatoes, halved, on top, and drizzle with olive oil.

Don’t expect yours to look exactly like mine, since I doubled the zucchini–I’ve got a lot to use up!  I absolutely love zucchini, so I was happy with more, but the proportions would probably be better with the original amount.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about half an hour, when the tart is cooked through–the zucchini is tender and the tomatoes are bursting with flavor.

A work of art to look at!

My only complaint with this tart was that the crust was a bit dense–that may be my fault, since I didn’t use pastry flour.  I also would have preferred to put it in a larger pan than what I had lying around, but I didn’t have anything that would be a better fit.

I must say, however, that the bite-sized tarts were absolutely amazing.  Two-bite-sized, really, but super cute and the perfect ratio of crust, cheese, and vegetable.

We ate half of the tart, and were completely stuffed.  Very filling.

Anyhoo, I have to go write a take-home final for my ethics class (best kind of test there is), so have a lovely evening!  To keep up with the late nights, I’ve been drinking vast quantities of English breakfast tea to keep me feeling sane–what’s your comforting drink of choice?  I’ve never really been a coffee kind of person.

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Filed under Entrees, Vegetarian

Dill & Cottage Cheese Bread

So nice to have the temperature finally cool down a bit!  Fritz and I got up bright and early so we could get our laundry done and go to the gym before we have to really get serious about studying.

Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve been working on running again.  I’ve never been a big fan of running, most likely because I’m just not very good at it–the furthest I have ever gone in one go is three miles.  And it was h-a-r-d.  I’ve always wanted to be a runner, because it’s an amazing form of exercise that is available to you any time, any place.  But…I’m just not good at it. Then last year I picked it up again, but did something to injure a peripheral nerve in my left leg–probably going too much, too soon.  After all, my body has never really been trained to run.

As I’m sure you can imagine, the burning down my leg combined with tingling and numbness in my feet which worsened as I sat through class did not encourage my running aspirations.

This year, after doing lots of exercises to get rid of the nerve problem (for the most part), I started thinking about running again.  Dang it, if a physical therapy student can’t train her body to run healthily, then who can?  So I started a new program that involves lots of stretching, strengthening targeted to specific muscles that I know are too weak (that’d be my glutes), and a very slow and steady running goal.  I started at half a mile, and added a tenth of a mile every time I worked out.  Running at a 10-minute mile pace means it’s only one more minute of running every time I add on.

So far, I’m at a mile and a half! Woo! It’s hard, but it’s not that hard.  My biggest problem with running is all mental–I have to distract myself from focusing on how much distance I’ve covered, otherwise, it’s torture.  And so far, no nerve problems.

Anyway, after my short run today, I was seriously craving some carbs (actually, I always crave carbs).  Luckily I made this light and fluffy but seriously savory bread yesterday!

Dill & Cottage Cheese Bread (from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads

  • 1 C cottage cheese
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T dried onion flakes
  • 1 T fresh minced dill
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t butter, melted (don’t this until it’s about to come out of the oven)
  • dash of salt

Grease a casserole dish (1 1/2 quarts) or two bread pans–or one bread pan if you want one gigantic and oddly shaped loaf like mine.

In a saucepan, warm the cottage cheese over medium heat just until it feels warm to the touch.

In a mixing bowl, combine the warm cottage cheese, sugar, onion, dill, salt, baking soda, eggs, and yeast.  If you don’t have eggs at room temperature, just place them in a bowl of hot water for a minute or two until they warm up–it’ll help the bread to rise.  Add the flour 1/2 C at a time until a thick batter is formed–a very thick batter.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.  Once it’s ready, stir down the batter, and spoon it into the dish/bread pans. 

Cover the pans with waxed paper, being careful that the paper doesn’t touch the dough since risen dough may fall once the wax paper is removed.  Allow it to double in size again, about 45 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 20 minutes before baking.

Bake the loaf on the medium rack until it is a deep brown, 40-45 minutes.  You may want to cover it with foil after a half an hour so it doesn’t brown too much.  When a toothpick is inserted, it should come out completely dry.  Remove from the oven and brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with a dash of salt.

Allow it to cool for 10 minutes before slicing. 

I think this might be my favorite bread I have ever made.  It tastes nothing like cottage cheese (actually reminds me a bit of an everything bagel), but is super light and fluffy.  And the savory flavor is to die for.

I toasted a giant piece for breakfast this morning and had it with two eggs on top.  So delicious!

Fritz isn’t quite as in love with it as I am (his loyalty remains with banana bread), but he has enjoyed several pieces today, so I think that’s enough confirmation for me.

So light! So fluffy!  I love me some dense, nutty, whole-grain breads, but sometimes it’s nice to have a change.

I’m off to try to get some studying done.

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Filed under Breads