Zucchini Goat Cheese Tart

If you have any late summer zucchini hanging around the kitchen, here is a delicious way to put them to use. Just do so before they are replaced a little later in the season by those lovely fall pumpkins, cauliflower and cabbage.

Thyme and lemon are a classic and winning combination whether cooking fish, meat or veggies. Here we use the pairing and little else to great effect. We also got to use cheese, which is always a plus in my cookbook. Just be careful not to burn your crust, like I did.

Zucchini Goat Cheese Tart (serves 6)

For the Tart Crust

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 stick butter, cubed
4-6 tbsp cold water

Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a Cuisinart until fully combined. Slowly add your butter, piece by piece until the mixture begins to look grainy. Add one tbsp of water at a time until the dough comes together in a ball. You will most likely not need to use all 6 tbsp. Kneed the dough into a ball, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

When dough is solid, grate it into a 9″ fluted tart pan. Using your fingers press the dough into the tart pan, evening out the sides and bottom. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and then blind bake for 20 min at 350F (you will want to add some sort of weight such as beans in order to keep the crust from rising as it cooks).

Set aside until ready to use

For the Tart Filling

1 heaping cup goat cheese, at room temperature
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon
15 springs thyme leaves
1 tbsp EVOO
salt and pepper to taste
2 large zucchini, cut into thin rounds

In a small pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium. Soften the garlic for about 2 minutes, until quite fragrant. Do not brown the garlic. Set aside. In a large bowl cream the goat cheese, lemon zest, and the leaves from 10 sprigs of thyme. Stir in the garlic and then flavor with salt and pepper.

Thinly slice the zucchinis and set aside.

Remove the pre-cooked pie crust from the refrigerator and layer the goat cheese mixture on the bottom of the crust. Then arrange the sliced zucchini in an overlapping, circular pattern, moving towards the center of the tart.

Top the zucchini with the remaining thyme, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.

Bake at 350F for 30-45 minutes or until the zucchini just begin to turn golden.