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Tomato-Zucchini Tart with Goat Cheese

For this tart, a simple mixture of summer vegetables and fresh goat cheese bakes in a buttery cornmeal crust. Look for stone-ground cornmeal, which retains more of the nutritious (and flavorful) germ and bran than corn ground by metal grinders. Serve thin slices of the tart for a beautiful appetizer, or accompany it with a salad for a light lunch.

Ingredients:

For the cornmeal dough: 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup fine stone-ground cornmeal 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/4 cup cold water 
  •   
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 1/2 lb. zucchini, cut into rounds 1/8 inch thick  
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 5 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled 
  • 3/4 lb. plum tomatoes, sliced 
  • 1 tsp. coarsely torn fresh thyme sprigs 

Directions:

To make the cornmeal dough, in a food processor or large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal and salt. Add the butter and pulse or rub in with your fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg and water and pulse or stir just until the dough begins to come together. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the zucchini and season lightly with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the zucchini is softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.

Roll out the dough into a 12-inch round about 1/4 inch thick. Fit into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable sides. Fold the edges of the dough over and press into the sides of the pan, forming a double thickness around the pan rim. Using a sharp paring knife, trim off any excess dough overhanging the rim.

Arrange half of the goat cheese on the bottom of the crust. Arrange the tomatoes and zucchini in overlapping concentric circles on top of the cheese. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining cheese and the thyme sprigs.

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the pan rim and let the tart cool for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).