This colorful tart has all the flavors of summer – ripe red tomatoes, bright green zucchini, and lots of aromatic basil atop a three cheese filling. And you don’t need the skills of Julia Child to make this recipe – a foolproof “press-in” tart crust from Cook’s Illustrated eliminates the anxiety of rolling out a pâte brisée. Serve it for lunch with a simple mixed green salad and a nice glass of white wine.
Serves 4 to 6
2 plum tomatoes, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
1 medium size zucchini, sliced a ¼ inch thick
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
4 ounces (1/2 cup) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 ounce mozzarella cheese, shredded (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon dried basil, or herbs de Provence
1 recipe All-Butter Press-In Tart Dough, baked and cooled (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
FOR THE CRUST:
- Spray 9-inch tart pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in food processor with four 1-second pulses. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture; pulse to cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse sand, about fifteen 1-second pulses. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and process until large clumps form and no powdery bits remain, about 5 seconds, adding up to 1 tablespoon more water if dough will not form clumps. Transfer dough to greased tart pan, scattering walnut size pieces all over tart pan and pat dough into pan. Lay plastic wrap over dough and smooth out any bumps or shallow areas. Place tart shell on plate and transfer to freezer for 30 minutes.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Place frozen tart shell on baking sheet; lightly spray one side of 18-inch square extra-wide heavy-duty aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray. Press foil greased side down inside tart shell, folding excess foil over edge of pan. Fill with pie weights and bake until top edge just starts to color and surface of dough under foil no longer looks wet, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove foil and weights by gathering edges of foil and pulling up and out. Return baking sheet with tart shell to oven and bake until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Set baking sheet with tart shell on wire rack to cool completely.
FOR TOMATO ZUCCHINI FILLING:
- Spread tomato and zucchini slices out over several layers of paper towels, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and let drain for 30 minutes. Combine 2 tablespoons oil and garlic in small bowl. In separate bowl, combine Parmesan, ricotta, mozzarella, dried herbs and remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over bottom of baked tart shell. Blot tomatoes dry with paper towels and shingle attractively on top of ricotta in concentric circles. Drizzle with garlic-oil mixture. (Tart can be held at room temperature for up to 2 hours before baking.)
- Bake tart on rimmed baking sheet until bubbling and tomatoes are slightly wilted, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.
- Let tart cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours. To serve, remove outer metal ring of tart pan, slide thin metal spatula between tart and tart pan bottom, and carefully slide tart onto serving platter or cutting board. Sprinkle with basil before serving.