Goat Cheese Tart with Marinated Tomato Zucchini Salad

This tart is a somewhat rustic yet elegant way to showcase the fresh vegetables that are so delicious this time of year. The veggies have a slight tang from marinating in a super simple vinaigrette, which perfectly complements the creamy cheese in the tart. This dish would be great as a summer appetizer or side dish. It would also be fabulous for brunch, or even dinner served alongside a fried egg with a slightly runny yolk. If goat cheese isn’t your thing, you could make the tart with just ricotta, or substitute in another soft cheese such as cream cheese.

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This tart ABSOLUTELY has to be made with fresh, in-season produce. The raw tomato and zucchini salad won’t taste even remotely the same if made with out of season produce purchased at the supermarket in the middle of January. I highly recommend visiting your local farmer’s market not only to get the ingredients for this tart, but for fresh, flavorful produce for other meals as well. At the market I was able to find heirloom cherry tomatoes that were so delicious I could have eaten the whole pint plain, and I’m not a raw tomato person AT ALL!  When I got home from the market, I weighed all my goodies and calculated what I would have paid for them at the grocery store. I ended up paying at least 35% less, got food that probably tasted better, and had the added bonus of knowing I was helping support farmers in my area. That’s a win, win, win if you ask me!

Goat Cheese Tart with Marinated Tomato Zucchini Salad

From: The Chew, Carla Hall
Serves 6

For the Tomato Zucchini Salad:
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp red pepper flake
1 garlic clove, smashed
Kosher salt
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved, heirloom if possible
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into very thin strips
¼ c. fresh basil leaves, torn

For the Tart:
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
½ c. ricotta cheese, at room temperature
½ c. goat cheese, at room temperature
¼ c. Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
Zest of one lemon
1 Tbsp chives, finely chopped
1 Tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
1 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Combine vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flake, garlic and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Add halved tomatoes and sliced zucchini and toss to coat. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400. Lay the puff pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet. With a paring knife, lightly trace a 1 inch border around the puff pastry. With a fork, dock all over inside the inner rectangle. Brush the edges of the puff pastry with melted butter. Bake for 10 minutes. The edges should puff up to create a free-form tart shell. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350.
  3. Combine the egg, ricotta, goat cheese, parmigiano, lemon zest and herbs in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Scoop the cheese mixture into the center of the tart and spread with a spatula to fill tart evenly.
  4. Bake tart for 15-20 minutes at 350 until the cheese is slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  5. Right before serving, remove the garlic clove from the salad. Strain the salad and then add the torn basil leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top the cheese tart with the tomato zucchini salad.
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