Zucchini Tart with Feta and Brown Rice Crust


Oh my goodness.  This just might be your new go-to recipe during the summer when zucchini is out of control and being left on your front door step by undisclosed neighbors whose gardens are bursting with the green monsters.

The original recipe uses puff pastry for the crust.  I thought I’d try to be a little healthy here and use a brown rice crust instead.  Also perfect if you are trying to avoid gluten!

Now I must warn  you, I was drinking wine with a friend while I was making this tart….here’s how it all came together.


I roasted my tomatoes earlier in the day and then just popped them in the refrigerator until I was ready to use them.  Once again, the original recipe doesn’t have you roast these sweet little tomatoes, but it adds so much more flavor.  I love great flavor.


I suppose you could use low fat or even fat free ricotta.  But since we are only using 1/2 cup, I thought I’d go with the part skim variety.  It really adds a lot of body to the filling.


Now let’s make the brown rice crust.  Just make the rice according to the package directions.  BUT since I like a lot of flavor, I used chicken broth instead of water.

Place the cooked rice in a bowl and add one egg, or two egg whites.  This will help bind the rice together.


Evenly distribute onto the bottom of a tart pan.  Place the crust in a pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake for about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and set aside.


With my mandoline I sliced 1 pound of the zucchini and I grated the other.


In a large skillet melt the butter, saute the onion and garlic until soft.  Now add in the grated zucchini.  Lightly season with salt and pepper as you go along.  Saute for about 10-15 minutes, or until all liquid from bottom of skillet has evaporated.


While the grated zucchini is in the skillet blanch the sliced zucchini in salted water for about one minute.  Remove from water and allow to cool on paper towels.


Now add in your ricotta cheese and half of the feta cheese. 

Since I wasn’t paying attention this particular evening and I was imbibing on wine, I forgot to put the feta into the mix.  I need to pay more attention next time.

But it was a lovely Albarino wine; which, by the way, went perfectly with this dish.

Hiccup!


Add in the roasted tomatoes and the egg.  Give it a good stir.


Layer the filling on top of the baked brown rice crust.


Layer the filling with the blanched sliced zucchini.

Bake for about 15 minutes.


Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining feta on top and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Allow the tart to cool slightly, cut into squares and enjoy.

Perfect for any of your meatless mondays, a great appetizer or even a side dish.  You just can’t go wrong with this delicious little tart!

Zucchini Tart with Feta
Adapted from a recipe from Saveur Magazine

Go here for original recipe

1 cup brown rice, cooked according to package directions (I used chicken broth for my liquid)
2 egg whites or 1 egg

2 pounds zucchini,  trimmed
3 tablespoons butter, plus one additional tablespoon to brush top of tart with
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, roasted (see this recipe on how to roast)
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (you can use reduced fat, too)
1 egg
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the cooked rice and eggs together.  Evenly press the rice mixture to the bottom of a 9×13″ tart pan with removable bottom (may want to lightly spray with cooking spray before spreading the rice).  Bake rice crust for about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Grate 1 pound of the zucchini on large holes of a box grater into a large bowl.  In a large skillet melt the butter and saute the onions and garlic until soft, about 6-7 minutes on medium heat.  Lightly seasoning with a little bit of salt and pepper to taste.  Add the grated zucchini and continue cooking until all liquid is absorbed.  Seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.  Should take about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add the roasted tomatoes, ricotta cheese, egg, and half of the feta cheese to the onion/zucchini mixture.  Lightly season with salt and pepper to taste.  Spread this mixture evenly onto the rice crust.

Slice the remaining zucchini into 1/4″-thick rounds.  Working in batches, blanch rounds in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute.  Drain and spread out on a paper towel-lined sheet pan; set aside.

Now arrange the zucchini rounds, slightly overlapping in rows, like tiles, on top.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Brush top with 1 tablespoon of melted butter and continue baking another 10 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature, then sprinkle remaining feta over top.  Cut tart into squares.  Enjoy as an appetizer, a side dish, or a meatless main dish with a nice green salad.  Serves 6.

 

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