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Tomato Zucchini TartAnother item featured on the August edition of WMUR’s Cook’s Corner was this vegetable tart.

While searching for ways to substitute pie weights or dried beans (because it’s 5 a.m. and I want to bake), I came across the term blind baking. In my “however-many-years-I’ve-been-baking” I’ve never heard that phrase, or perhaps just never paid attention to it. I’m using a paté brisée dough based on one in The Silver Palate, so I’m not going into this blind; I know what I’m making and how I’m making it. I learned that blind baking is when you partially pre-bake a crust. (I simply call it pre-baking).

I need to invest in some pie weights, though dried beans work fine. Since I had neither, I sprayed tin foil and placed it over the dough after it was pressed into the tart baking dish and placed it in the freezer for about 10 min. Then I placed a slightly smaller Le Creuset baking dish on top of the crust to help keep it weighted down.

To help keep a uniform look, and to help with uniform baking, select tomatoes and zucchinis that are similar in diameter. You can substitute with ready-to-bake pie crust, but this is really worth the effort. We were human vacuum cleaners eating up all the crumbs. I could eat this dough raw. By itself. (That’s probably why I didn’t end up with any trimmings.)

The tart is a filling dinner served with salad, or for breakfast.

See the episode here.

What you need:

Paté Brisée Dough:

  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 2 tbs chilled shortening
  • 2-4 tbs ice water


  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbs chopped thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 lg zucchini
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

What you do:

  • Combine flour, salt and sugar in bowl of a food processor.
  • Add chilled butter and shortening to food processor
  • Pulse until the butter until small pea-shapes are formed.
  • Add 2 tbs of ice water and pulse several times.
  • Continue to add water and pulse as needed until dough forms.
  • Transfer to floured surface and knead.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerated for at least 1 hour.
  • Heat oven to 400˚.
  • Place dough ball on floured surface and dust with flour. (I often place dough between two sheets of plastic wrap.)
  • Roll into lg circle, 2” larger than the diameter of your tart pan.
  • Fold dough circle in half, and half again and place into prepared tart pan
  • Carefully press dough into bottom and sides.
  • Remove excess dough from rim.
  • Spray sheet of foil large enough to cover inside of tart.
  • Place sprayed side down and gently press foil against sides and bottom of crust.
  • Place oven-proof baking dish that fits within the tart pan on top, or use pie weights or dried beans.
  • Chill for at least 30 min.
  • Blind-bake for 20 min.
  • Remove from oven and remove baking dish weight (or pie weights or dried beans.)
  • Cool on rack.
  • When cooled, brush bottom of tart with EVOO and sprinkle with half the garlic, basil and thyme.
  • Sprinkle bottom with half the cheese.
  • Reheat oven to 400˚.
  • Starting on outside edge with the larger slices, layer zucchini and tomato.
  • Repeat until tart shell is filled.
  • Brush vegetables with EVOO, sprinkle with remaining garlic, basil and thyme.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 min, or until the vegetables begin to turn golden brown