Scrolling through my Instagram feed the other day, I was totally blindsided. Lurking between the latté art and a yawning kitten, was a thick branch of rosy leaves set against a deep blue sky. Since then, I’ve woken up to grey, foggy skies two days in a row. Two days!
Not to be melodramatic, but I sense the beginning of the end. Usually I’m one of those annoying people who proclaims to be “done with summer” and begins pining for chunky soups and wool socks in late August. This year, though, I’ve been pretty into it. Seawall bike rides, beach sunsets, homemade ice cream, shorts and sandal tans: I’m going to miss you.
So before the zucchini disappears and the tomatoes revert to pale, mealy shadows of their former selves, let’s send them off in style with a summer tart.
- ½ batch of your favourite pie crust* (or 1 sheet of puffed pastry)
- 140 g unripened chèvre
- 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 egg
- 1 small zucchini, sliced thinly
- 4 small roma tomatoes, sliced thinly**
- Fresh (or dried) herbs to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a 3 mm (1/10") thick rectangle or square. Carefully transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet, before using a pizza cutter or knife to square the corners and remove any jagged edges. Refrigerate it while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a small bowl, combine the chèvre, garlic and egg. (You can add your herbs here or sprinkle them on top later on—your choice.) Beat with a whisk or electric beaters until creamy and smooth. Set aside.
- Use a mandoline (or your incredible knife skills) to cut the zucchini and tomatoes into thin slices. Set them aside in two piles.
- Preheat your oven to 190 °C (375 °F).
- Remove the pastry from the fridge. Spread the chèvre mixture on top, leaving a very small border around the edge.
- Beginning at one end, lay down a row of overlapping tomato slices, then a row of overlapping zucchini slices, back and forth until you reach the other end.
- Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and herbs (if you didn't mix them into the chèvre).
- Bake for 25–30 minutes or until visibly golden around the edges. Cool before slicing and serving.
** Big juicy heirloom tomatoes might be tempting, but you'll want to stick with a slimmer variety or risk a soggy tart. Otherwise, feel free to experiment with different herbs and soft cheeses.