I have a courgette plant growing in my garden and throughout the summer it has been producing a small bounty of courgettes. Courgettes on their own can sometimes be bland, but when treated correctly and paired with other ingredients their juicy clean flavour gets to shine. In this instance they have been baked into a delicious puff pastry free form tart. Paired with ricotta, a little lemon, basil and a scattering of pine nuts it makes the perfect lunch time or light supper meal.
Lightly frying the courgette slices before assembling them into the tart is the secret to giving the courgettes some extra colour and flavour. All the ingredients complemented each other well. I might try adding a layer of pesto to the base next time, to enhance the pine nut and basil flavours further. The crisp flaky layers of the puff pastry (shop bought I’m afraid) provided the perfect base to the soft, soufflé like filling. Simple, fresh and elegant.
Courgette Ricotta & Pine Nut Tart
(Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food)
250g puff pastry
1 tbsp olive oil
250g ricotta cheese
Small handful fresh basil
25g grated parmesan
1 clove garlic
Zest of ½ lemon
2 tbsp pine nuts
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Slice the courgettes into rounds, about 4mm thick. Heat the olive oil in a small pan and fry the courgette slices on both slices, until they begin to soften and take on a little brown colour. Once cooked, set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Beat together the ricotta, half the parmesan and the eggs until well combined. Crush the garlic and roughly chop the basil. Add to the cheese mixture along with some freshly grated nutmeg, the lemon zest and some salt and pepper.
Roll out the pastry to form a rectangle, about 30cm x 20cm. Transfer it to a large baking tray.
Spread the cheese mixture over the top of the rolled pastry, leaving a 3cm border around the edge. (The cheese mix will be quite soft, but don’t worry).
Gently press the pastry border up and slightly over the edge of the cheese mixture to create a rim.
Lay the courgette slices over the top of the tart and scatter over the remaining parmesan cheese and the pine nuts.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry edge is puffed and golden and the filling firm.
Leave to cool slightly before serving. Also tastes great cold, cut into finger sized wedges.