Monday, May 19, 2008

Quite easy courgette tart

This was going to be the easy courgette tart I mentioned in my last post, a recipe clipped from eve magazine or maybe Easy Living. But things happened on the way. See, the "easy" part of this tart has a lot to do with using ready rolled puff pastry. And while ready rolled puff pastry makes the task of baking a tart laughably easy indeed, it is not so kind on your health, being packed with fat. Now before you think I'm a boring health nut and click away - I'm not. Seriously, I was going to buy the pastry, I had the roll in my hand and my hand was halfway in my basket. And I would have bought it, walked home with it and made this tart according to instructions, had I not cast a glance at the list of ingredients on the package and seen just the kind of fats used in the pastry. Transfats, people, as nasty as they come. I could have dealt with butter but with these I couldn't. The puff pastry went right back to where it came from and I decided to take a leaf from Clotilde's book and make this tart with a polenta base instead. A little more work, yes, but still quite easy.

Quite easy courgette tart (serves 2)

  • 125g fine polenta
  • 450ml water
  • a good pinch of salt
  • a generous sprinkling of dried thyme
  • 120g soft ricotta
  • 2 teaspoons grated parmesan
  • a little grated lemon zest
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 0.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 basil leaves
  • parmesan (optional)
Bring the water to the boil and salt to taste. Crumble the thyme between your fingers and add to the pan, then add the polenta while stirring constantly. Simmer for a few minutes over a low heat until quite thick. Spread into a round baking pan or pie dish (mine had a diameter of 25cm, a little larger would be fine, too but you might need more zucchini) which you've lightly oiled with some olive oil. Let the polenta sit for about fifteen minutes. Preheat the oven to 250°. Mix the ricotta with the lemon zest and the grated parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Very finely and evenly slice the zucchini. You can do this yourself or instruct another person in your household to do so under your supervision. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put it on top of your baking pan with the polenta, parchment paper side down. Firmly press the baking pan and the baking sheet against each other and turn around with a swift movement so that this time, the baking pan with the polenta is on top. Lift the baking pan away. Take a moment to admire the smooth disc of polenta before you, then slide it into the hot oven and bake for about twenty minutes or until lightly browned. You can use the grill but watch that parchment paper. Mine was looking very parched indeed after just a few minutes under the grill. Remove the polenta round from the oven and spread with the ricotta mixture. Arrange the zucchini slices on top, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Slide back into the oven and cook for about twenty minutes or until the zucchini are tender. Transfer onto a serving platter and top with the chopped basil and some parmesan shavings if using.

1 comment:

Sophie said...

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