What a delight to reach in the cupboard and find a new piece of kitchen equipment! I was reaching for my trusty round 9-inch tart pan with fluted sides and removable bottom, when lo and behold, I found a square version—the one I purchased this last May when the local cookware store went out of business. I had completely forgotten about my bargain buy.
Admittedly, since summer’s heat hit town there hasn’t been a lot of baking in my kitchen. Now that it is (slightly) cooler I am happy to feature my new pan in a summery vegetable tart.
A lot of white flour flows through my hands at work as a pastry chef. In my home kitchen I aim for whole grains and less white sugar–I think you will enjoy the nutty flavor and healthier aspect too. Because it is made from oil, not butter, expect fragile dough that easily falls apart when raw. Know that it always bakes into a sturdy, nut-brown crust.
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
¾ teaspoon Real Salt
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons cold water
Pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Stir the flour and salt together in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the oil and water until it is thick and creamy. Pour over the flour, all at once. Mix with your fingers until blended, and then form into a flattened ball.
Lightly oil a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Roll the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper to about 1/8-inch thick. Gently remove the top paper. Carefully invert the pastry and the bottom paper over the pan, then gently and carefully remove the paper. Press the broken parts into the pan, pressing up the sides and evenly into the fluted edge.
Line the dough with a sheet of parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or rice. Bake the crust for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Remove the paper with the beans.
1 yellow squash
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Real Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 medium onions, chopped in ½-inch dice.
¼ cup finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
5 ounces feta cheese
7 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
4 ounces half and half cream or evaporated skim milk
Preheat the grill to hot. Scrub the squash and slice lengthwise about 3/8 inch thick. Brush the strips with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Grill both sides of the squash until the have golden char color. Cut into cubes about 3/8-inch square. Place in a bowl and set aside.
Heat a skillet on medium flame. Add about a tablespoon of the oil. When the oil begins to heat, add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion are golden and soft. Add the onions to the bowl of grilled squash. Stir in the chopped basil and parsley.
Place the pre-baked tart shell on a baking sheet. Cover the crust evenly with the squash and onions. Sprinkle the feta, distributing as evenly as possible. Arrange the tomato halves randomly on top.
Whisk the eggs and milk or cream with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the cheese and vegetables; pouring near the edges also, making sure the mixture flows everywhere.
Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until the custard has set and the top of the tart turns golden brown.
Cool about 10 minutes.
Place the tart over a jar wide enough to support the pan bottom but narrow enough to let the removable ring fall off. Gently nudge the ring to release it from the tart.
Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
- Start to roll the dough out between sheets of waxed paper, though count on pressing broken parts into the pan.
- Rectangle tart pans are fun too.
- Use any combination of squash. Try to use a zucchini that is light green, likely found at the Farmer’s Market. They are less watery and have more flavor than the “supermarket” zucchini.
- Prepare the vegetables while the tart shell is baking.
- I don’t keep half and half cream in the fridge. But in the pantry there is always a can or two of evaporated skim milk–in case I want a milk that is thicker and less sweet than almond milk. Feel free to use soy milk if that is what you have on hand.