This zucchini & ricotta tart is another one of those recipes that began life as a “we need to use what’s left in the fridge” experiment. Lauren’s severe nut allergy means that there are a lot of great things that she’s unable to eat. When we did our road trip up to Victoria’s High Country in October (you can read about it here) we bought some pumpkin seed meal from the Australian Pumpkin Seed Company.
The original plan was to make macarons with it however our attempts, despite making some decent tasting things, didn’t quite work out. We still had quite a bit of pumpkin seed meal left so when Lauren made up this tart, she decided to try and make a pumpkin seed meal casing instead of using flour. This attempt at a lower carbohydrate, healthier casing for the tart was, I can thankfully tell you, a complete success – it had a great flavour to it and crisped up really nicely in the oven.
As for the filling, the ingredients here are very Mediterranean influenced, with the preserved lemon in particular giving the tart a tang that plays really nicely with the sweet and salty elements of the dish.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes / Cooking Time: 30 minutes / Serves 4-6
- 150g pumpkin seed meal
- 60g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm x 1cm cubes
- 20ml cold water
- 3 medium sized zucchinis
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 a medium sized brown onion, finely diced
- 5 large (58g) eggs
- 1 preserved lemon
- 100g ricotta
- 15 fresh sprigs of thyme
- 12 vine leaves
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 100g goat’s curd
- 50g ricotta
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 tbsp (4g) orange blossom honey
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 200°C fan forced.
- Rub the butter into the pumpkin meal to form a crumbly consistency.
- Add the cold water to the mixture and combine it into a ball of dough.
- Once the dough has come together refrigerate it for 10 minutes.
- Grease a 23cm non-stick fluted flan/quiche tin with butter.
- Roll the dough between 2 pieces of greaseproof paper into a 1cm thick slab.
- Discard the top piece of the greaseproof paper and transfer the dough into the tin by flipping it upside down, using the bottom piece of greaseproof paper to assist.
- Discard the bottom piece of grease proof paper and bake the dough for 15 minutes.
- Grate 2 of the zucchinis to a medium level of fineness.
- Place the grated zucchini on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place it in the oven for 15 minutes. To save time, bake the zucchini and the pastry dough at the same time.
- Mix together the ricotta, eggs, salt, pepper and thyme (leaves only, you can discard the stems) in a bowl. Set aside.
- Cut the final zucchini into 0.5cm thick circles.
- Once the pastry has cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool.
- Place the vine leaves in hot water and let them soak for a few minutes.
- Pat the vine leaves dry and remove the stems.
- Brush the pastry case with some of the egg & ricotta mixture.
- Place the vine leaves on top of the pastry casing. Ensure that there are no gaps between the vine leaves – you want a continuous layer.
- Brush the vine leaf layer with some of the egg & ricotta mixture.
- Scatter the cooked zucchini, onion and preserved lemon on top of the vine leaf layer.
- Pour in the egg & ricotta mixture.
- Place the zucchini circles on top of the tart.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Mix together the goat’s curd, ricotta, lemon zest and orange blossom honey in a bowl.
- Season with salt & pepper and place it on top of the tart once it’s been out of the oven for a few minutes.
If you can’t get a hold of pumpkin seed meal, you can use any kind of pastry casing that you want, just make sure it’s not too buttery as you want it to be relatively light.
Goat’s curd works really well as the topping but it’s not essential – a salty or neutral creamy white cheese crumbled over the top works really nicely too.
You can use dried thyme instead of fresh thyme but the flavour won’t be as pronounced.