As delicious as it is beautiful, this zucchini tart is summer in a savory pie form. A flaky puff pastry crust is filled with an olive tapenade feta filling and layered with sweet zucchini. Finish the tart with a dollop of creme fraiche and a drizzle of truffle oil for a truly elegant meal.
- 4 large zucchini
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 puff pastry sheet, thawed (8.6 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup creme fraiche
- truffle oil for serving
Olive tapenade feta filling
- ⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1 ½ teaspoons capers
- 1 garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt plain
- 1 large egg
- 2 ounces crumbled feta
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Thinly slice zucchini into 1/16 inch thick round slices. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt and place in colander. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Lightly flour a clean working counter with flour. Slightly roll out puff pastry so that it's big enough to cover a 9-inch pie dish. Transfer puff pastry to baking dish and gently press dough into dish to create a crust. Trim excess dough. Poke puff pastry with fork to prevent from puffing up. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make olive tapenade feta filling. Pulse together olives, capers, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer tapenade to a bowl and add Greek yogurt, egg, feta, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined. Spread olive filling in an even layer on puff pastry.
- Line baking sheet pan with paper towels and lay zucchini slices on top. Pat dry. Arrange zucchini slices on tart so that they're standing up, slightly overlapping the slices until the entire tart is covered. You may have extra zucchini slices.
- Drizzle zucchini with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake zucchini tart for 45 - 55 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Slice zucchini tart and place dollop of creme fraiche on top. Drizzle with truffle oil if desired (but highly recommended!).
Watch how to make this:
I'm not sure why or how but years ago, I began a tradition of eating at a Michelin star restaurant when I travel abroad. It's now one of the highlights of every trip. On my latest vacation to Greece, I had the chance to dine at Botrini's. Every single course was impeccable, so much so that Botrini's might just be my favorite Michelin-star restaurant to date. One of the highlights for me was their zucchini tart. Layers of zucchini are baked on an olive puff pastry, topped with shaved truffle, and served with a goat cheese sauce. In remembrance of that truly spectacular dish, here is my version. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
- Zucchini: Also known as courgette, zucchini is a summer squash with tender flesh and a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Because of it's mild flavor, it can easily be paired with other ingredients.
- Puff pastry: A light and flaky pastry made by layering dough and butter, which creates a multitude of thin, crispy layers when baked. I used store-bought puff pastry rather than making it from scratch.
- Feta: A tangy and crumbly white cheese made from sheep's milk or a mixture of sheep's and goat's milk. It has a distinctive salty and sour flavor. If you're not a fan of feta, you can use goat cheese instead.
- Kalamata olives: A type of black olive that is commonly grown in the region of Kalamata in Greece, from which they get their name. They are known for their distinctive almond shape, dark purple to black color, and rich, fruity flavor.
- Capers: Small, pickled flower buds commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine. They have a tangy and slightly salty taste, adding a burst of flavor to dishes.
- Creme fraiche: A rich and creamy dairy product with a subtle tang. It's similar to sour cream but has a higher fat content and a milder flavor. If you can't find creme fraiche, use sour cream instead.
- Truffle oil: An oil infused with the aroma and flavor of truffles, which are highly prized fungi known for their earthy and intense taste. Because of its unique taste, there is no substitute for this ingredient.
How to Make Zucchini Tart
Step 1: Prepare the crust
Right off the bat, I knew I couldn't replicate Botrini's zucchini tart exactly because of its crust. They use an olive puff pastry as their base. I had no intention of making my own from scratch so I decided to go another route. I decided to use storebought puff pastry and make an olive filling.
Store-bought puff pastry is one of the few items that I would gladly buy than make myself. I can honestly say, that if I made it from scratch, it wouldn't be as good as the premade versions. So let's go the shortcut route, shall we?
Roll out the puff pastry just a tad and lay it into the prepared baking dish. Trim the excess dough and poke the bottom with a fork. This will help the crust from puffing up too much. Bake the puff pastry in the oven until golden brown, about 12 minutes. I like to check on the crust halfway through and make sure it's not puffing up. If it is, use a fork to deflate the bubbles.
Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool.
Step 2: Make olive tapenade filling
Meanwhile, prepare the olive filling. This filling is like an olive tapenade but with feta, yogurt, and egg to make it creamy. Simply process the ingredients together in a food processor until well combined.
Spread the olive filling on the cooled crust in an even layer.
Step 3: Arrange zucchini and bake
Next, it's time to arrange the zucchini. We're not dressing up the zucchini because we want the ingredient to shine all on its own. The only preparation we have to do for the squash is to salt it beforehand. Salting the zucchini will draw out excess water. If you skip this step, you will end up with a soggy zucchini tart.
Pat dry the zucchini and arrange them in the tart upright, slightly overlapping the slices. This step will take some time but the more time you spend on it, the more beautiful it will become.
If you have any extra zucchini, you can use them to make zucchini chips!
Season the tart with salt, pepper, and olive oil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the zucchini is tender. The goal is to cook the zucchini just until it's tender, not mushy. It should still have a bite to it.
Step 4: The finishing touches
Let the zucchini tart cool slightly before serving. We enjoyed this dish at the restaurant cold but I also enjoyed my homemade version warm.
Place a dollop of creme fraiche on top and drizzle truffle oil to finish. Although the truffle oil is optional, I will say, it adds a lot to the overall flavor of the tart.
I was a bit worried that this zucchini tart wouldn't taste as good as it looks. Luckily, it did. The flavors are delicate but present from the sweet zucchini to the cool creme fraiche to the salty olive filling and crispy crust. And the truffle oil to finish? Perfection.
What type of zucchini should I use for this tart, and do I need to peel them?
You can use standard green zucchini for this recipe, and there's no need to peel them. However, make sure to wash and thinly slice them as instructed.
What is the purpose of letting the sliced zucchini sit with salt in a colander?
Sprinkling the zucchini slices with salt and letting them sit in a colander helps draw out excess moisture. This step prevents the tart from becoming too soggy during baking.
Where can I buy truffle oil, and is it essential for the recipe?
Truffle oil is available in many gourmet or specialty food stores. It's used as a finishing touch to enhance the flavor of the tart, but it's optional. If you don't have truffle oil, you can still enjoy the tart without it.
Can I make this zucchini tart in advance for a party or special occasion?
Yes, you can! The puff pastry can be baked the day before, and you can also prepare the olive tapenade filling in advance. Assemble the tart on the day you plan to serve it for the best results.
For more savory pie inspiration check out this french onion galette!