Fuelled by the success of my courgetti, we’ve been a bit spiraliser-crazy here recently, and I had three large courgettes (zucchini) sitting in the fridge, awaiting their moment of spiralisation. But, you can have too much of a good thing, and I ultimately decided to prepare them with a mandolin instead. (Heaven forbid I should just cut things up with a knife!)
There was a packet of puff pastry in the fridge too – bought in a moment of panic prior to some friends coming round and then left unused – and given that the sun was shining and the weather was feeling optimistic, I decided to make a summer vegetable tart. Lovely crisp, flaky pastry, topped with soft, slightly tangy cream cheese and layers of paper-thin courgette slices. Mmmm.
Come to think of it, this really was a ‘using up’ sort of a meal. The cream cheese had been bought for Shavuot and then failed to find its way into a cheesecake. Oops. I really must plan my shopping/cooking more carefully.
Although, if I did, the opportunity to create delicious puff pastry courgette tarts like this one would be lost. Better stick to my haphazard ‘system’ after all.
I cut the puff pastry sheet into three individual tarts. I thought they would be quite big, but to my surprise, Kipper managed to eat a whole one! Mind you, there were an AWFUL LOT of puff pastry crumbs on the table, her chair, the floor, and all over her clothes, so it’s possible that she just ate the courgettes and spread the rest in a thin layer over the surrounding area.
She must have thought it was pretty delicious though, to eat the whole thing. It’s hard to get kids to eat vegetables… oh no, wait a minute…
If you wanted to make one large tart, and cut it up, there’s no reason why that would’t work too. I should also point out that we didn’t have any side dishes with this, so if you were serving it with potatoes and vegetables/salad, this amount would happily serve more than three. Probably four at least.
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- 3 large courgettes (zucchini)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Pinch salt
- 0.25 tsp ground black pepper
- 0.5 tsp dried basil
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 320g pack ready-rolled puff pastry
- 50g cream cheese
- Grated parmesan to serve (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 220C. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone paper.
- Trim the ends from the courgettes, then slice as thinly as possible, ideally using a mandolin to get <1mm slices.
- Add the oil, salt, pepper, basil & cayenne to the sliced courgettes and toss everything together to mix well. Set aside.
- Unroll the puff pastry and place onto the prepared baking sheet. (You can make one large tart or cut the pastry into several smaller rectangles as you prefer.) Use the tip of a sharp knife to score a line about 1cm (half an inch) from the edge of the pastry - be careful not to cut all the way through.
- Spread the cream cheese over centre of the pastry, just up to the scored line. Arrange the sliced courgettes over the cheese in a reasonably even layer.
- Bake the tart(s) in the preheated oven at 220C for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is risen and golden and the courgettes are cooked and beginning to brown.
- Serve hot or warm, sprinkled with grated parmesan if desired.
I’m submitting this recipe to a couple of foodie linkies:
Meat Free Mondays, hosted by Jac at Tinned Tomatoes.
Simple and in Season, organised by Ren at renbehan.com.
And the No Waste Food Challenge, organised by Elizabeth at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.