Zucchini Garden Herb Tart

Makes one 11"x8" or 14" by 4 1/2" tart (but, really, any average-sized tart tin will do ).
Adapted from this Martha Stewart recipe.

all-purpose flour for dusting
1/2 recipe Martha Stewart's pate brisee (freeze remaining dough for another tart)
4 medium green zucchini
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large leeks, white parts only, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
a few handfuls of chopped fresh herbs (I used thyme, oregano, basil, and parsley, and chives)
1/2 cup shredded or thinly sliced cheese
**Ms Stewart's recipe calls for 1/2 cup grated Gruyere; I didn't have any Gruyere, so instead I covered the surface with a thinly sliced soft cheese from Iceland called Hofdingi Hvitmygluostur. I have no idea how to pronounce that, but it's good cheese. I discovered it while trying to find a Camembert wheel at Whole Foods. The nice cheesemonger told me that Camembert wheels were hard to come by at the moment, and suggested this instead. I find it a bit milder than Camembert, but it's texture is just about the same, and I like it quite a lot. This is what it looks like arranged on the tart.**

1 large whole egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup heavy cream
extra-virgin olive oil for brushing zucchini

Instruments: rolling pin, baking sheet, tart tin, wire rack, mandoline, parchment paper, dry beans or pie weights, pastry brush, aluminum foil

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Have your tart tin sitting on a parchment-lined baking sheet. On a lightly floured surface, roll pate brisee dough into a shape large enough to drape slightly over the edges of your tart tin. Fit the dough into the tin and fold the edges back in to reinforce the sides of your tart shell. Transfer tart shell to the freezer and chill for 20 minutes.

2. Remove tart shell from freezer, prick bottom with a fork, line with parchment paper, and fill with dried beans or metal pie weights. Bake until the crust is beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove beans/weights. Return the crust to the oven, and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and set aside on a wire rack.

3. Using a mandoline (or a vegetable peeler), thinly slice 2 zucchini into rounds. Spread slices out onto paper or cloth towels, and lightly sprinkle them with salt. Let sit for 20 minutes.

4. Cut the remaining zucchini into a 1/2-inch dice. In a large skillet, melt butter over high heat. Add garlic, leeks, and diced zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden, but still firm, about 8 minutes. Stir in fresh herbs. Evenly distribute vegetables into tart crust.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, and cream. Season mixture with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture evenly over tart filling. Spread cheese over surface of tart filling.

6. Place another layer of paper towels (or another cloth towel) over salted zucchini rounds. Gently press down to remove excess moisture. Layer zucchini over the entire surface of the tart.

7. Using a pastry brush, coat the zucchini rounds with olive oil. Bake, loosely covered with aluminum foil, until the custard is set, 30-35 minutes. Remove tart from oven, place on a wire rack, and allow to cool slightly before serving.


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