Serves a Crowd

Asparagus, Zucchini and Ricotta Tart

March 15, 2011
Author Notes

This recipe came from the need for a nice brunch for a late spring garden event committee meeting I hosted. Zucchini, lemon, ricotta and asparagus go so well together. I like the quiche consistency of the filling, and the asparagus gets nice and roasted. Add some puff pastry, and a nice arugula side salad with big shavings of fresh Parmesan, and you can't go wrong. To avoid a soggy crust - make sure the zucchini is dried and cooked thoroughly. This dish is lovely with glass of crisp Viognier. - Burnt Offerings —Burnt Offerings

Test Kitchen Notes

Not only are the ingredients for Burnt Offerings' Mother's Day dish uniformly crowd-friendly, but the combination of the flaky puff pastry (amplified by the saltiness of the parmesan-encrusted rim), creamy ricotta-zucchini filling, and tender asparagus is immensely satisfying. Nothing says "I love you" like artfully-arranged asparagus spears. - CookLikeMad —CookLikeMad

  • Serves 6
  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 pound zucchini - grated
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt - divided
  • 1 bunch asparagus - trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion - finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove - minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese - drained for 15 min.
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 TBL water for egg wash
In This Recipe
  1. Place grated zucchini in colander set over large bowl. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Let drain at least 30 minutes. Working in batches, squeeze zucchini in kitchen towel to remove as much liquid as possible. It’s important that the zucchini is dry.
  2. While the zucchini is draining, blanch the trimmed asparagus spears in boiling water for 3 minutes. Plunge into ice water to stop cooking, cool, and dry thoroughly on paper towels.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add zucchini and lemon juice; reduce heat to medium-low and cook until zucchini is tender, and mixture is dry, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  6. Whisk ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup Parmesan, egg, lemon peel, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Stir in cooled zucchini mixture.
  7. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 pastry to a 10" x 15" rectangle, 1/8-inch thick and transfer to baking sheet.
  8. Trim 1 inch of pastry from each edge of the rectangle and set aside next to its edge. Wash the rectangle along each border with the egg wash, and then top with the piece of trimmed pastry, creating a raised edge. Overlap the corners.
  9. Spread zucchini filling evenly over pastry, filling the pastry box.
  10. Arrange the asparagus spears decoratively on the top of the filling.
  11. Apply the egg wash to the raised borders, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and some fleur de sel or kosher salt.
  12. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until puffed and golden. Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving. Can be made ahead and reheated.

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