James beard once said that "a gourmet who counts calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." Well, James, I couldn't have said it better myself. I wish I could say that this was the explanation for my tart fixation recently, but really I didn't come across this saying until after both this tart and last week's nectarine, cheesecake, gingersnap tart were long gone. I love tarts, the kind you eat of course, because they are a generally simple way to make a dish a little more exciting and pretty. They look refined, finished and composed, and an onlooker might believe that much time and effort was put into it when really, it was a snap.
Smoky Zucchini Masparpone Tart
(yields 1, 9-inch tart)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons spelt flour
3 medium sized zucchini, sliced 1/8" thick or any summer squash will do.
1 small onion, shaved in rounds
3/4 cup mascarpone
1/4 cup chopped chives
2 teaspoons smoked salt
a few turns of a pepper grinder
1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the crust by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and pressing into a 9-inch tart pan. Bake for 9 minutes, until golden. Let cool completely and keep the oven on.
2) In a blender combine the eggs, mascarpone, chives, salt and pepper. Blend until combined.
3) Lay the zucchini slices in concentric circles in the prepared tart shell, there should be enough for about two layers. Pour the filling evenly over the zucchini. Top with the onions.
4) Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the onions are soft and the top is golden. The filling should be firm to the touch and slightly puffed up. Let cool.
5) Serve a room temperature. This tart should be good for a few days in the fridge, bring to room temperature before serving.