Tomato Zucchini Tart
A beautiful, elegant, and surprisingly simple layered tomato zucchini tart for summer.
This past weekend, I had a plan. And that plan involved making this fancy tomato zucchini tart. I promise, it’s not nearly as fancy as it looks–it is actually pretty straight-forward.
In other words, it’s deceptively fancy-looking. And that is my absolute favorite type of food.
I made this dish for the first time in culinary school nearly a year and a half ago (how could it have possibly been that long ago?!). Despite making a zillion other dishes during those six months of my life, this dish continues to be one of my absolute favorites.
Since that time, I’ve been meaning to recreate it and share a version on the blog, but somehow along the way, I got distracted and forgot all about it. Life does that sometimes.
Fortunately, this past Saturday morning, I happened to come across this post and within hours, was walking out the door and heading to the store to grab all of the ingredients.
In all honesty, the most time consuming part of this dish is preparing and blind-baking the crust–a basic pate brisee dough–which you can make by hand or quickly in your food processor.
Other than that, it is a very simple dish to put together, because all the filling ingredients are raw. Once you have sliced the zucchini and tomatoes, it’s simply a matter of alternating the layers in circles…
Start on the outer edges and work your way around. To make the layering process a bit easier, try to buy zucchini and tomatoes with a similar size diameter. Remember not to take yourself too seriously and have fun!
Brush with oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, throw it in the oven, set a timer, and allow it to do its thing. If you’re impatient like me, feel free to flip on the oven light and stare at it a few times in anticipation.
I really do love this tomato zucchini tart for so many reasons. Not only is it incredibly delicate and light, but it really is all about the filling–fresh zucchini, ripe plum tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
It truly is summer on a plate. Enjoy!
Tomato Zucchini Tart
Pate Brisee Dough:
- 1¼ cups (150 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ cup (4 oz; 115 g) cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- 2-4 tablespoons ice water
Tomato Zucchini Filling:
- ¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup packed basil leaves, finely chopped plus leaves for garnishing
- 3 garlic cloves finely minced (1 tablespoon)
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 lb fresh Roma or plum tomatoes
- 1 lb fresh zucchini
- flaky salt for finishing
- Prepare and Chill Tart Dough: Combine the flour and salt in bowl of a food processor. Meanwhile, cut up cold butter into cubes and place in separate bowl. Place both bowls in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to chill.
- Remove the butter and flour mixture from freezer. Add chilled butter to the flour mixture, and using the blade attachment, pulse several times or until the butter is roughly the size of peas and distributed evenly throughout the flour mixture.
- Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and pulse several times. Continue to add water (pulsing a few times) until dough just comes together. Depending on moisture and humidity levels, the amount of water that you may need will change.
- Remove dough to a lightly floured countertop and press together with hands. Press into a thick disc, cover tightly in plastic wrap, and allow to chill in fridge for at least 1 to 2 hours (or prepare the day before and chill overnight).
- Blind Bake Tart Dough: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C) with a rack in the center position. Set aside a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
- After dough has chilled, remove the dough from fridge and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Lightly flour a work surface and using rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12 to 13-inch diameter disc, rotating the dough continuously as you go to prevent sticking. Gently fold into quarters and transfer to the tart pan. Carefully press the dough into the sides and corners, without stretching, and roll the rolling pin over top of the pan to trim and remove excess dough. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and allow the dough to chill in the refrigerator for another 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove and line tart dough with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment and if bottom still does not look completely dry, bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, checking regularly. Allow crust to cool on rack while you prepare the filling ingredients.
- Prepare Filling and Assemble Tart: Combine the minced garlic, finely chopped basil, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Using a mandolin (or sharp knife), slice the zucchini into ⅛-inch round slices and lightly season with salt. Using serrated knife, slice the tomatoes into ¼-inch slices, season lightly on both sides with salt, and place on a layer of paper towels to soak up any excess moisture. Set aside.
- Brush tart shell lightly with basil-garlic oil (there should be leftovers for brushing the vegetables) and distribute the parmesan cheese evenly on top of the oil mixture. Blot the zucchini and tomato slices once again to absorb any excess moisture.
- Starting on the outside edge, layer the zucchini and tomato slices alternately in a circular pattern. Be sure to tightly layer them against each other (as they will shrink once baked). Try to leave the bigger slices for the outside and small slices for the inner circles. Continue until the entire tart shell is filled - you should have two circular rings and can chop up various small pieces of vegetables to fill any center empty space.
- Brush the vegetables generously with remaining basil-garlic oil and season very lightly with salt and pepper. Bake at 400°F (204°C) for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes and zucchini are soft and lightly caramelized. Optional (but recommended): Place under the oven broil for 2 to 3 minutes to finish. Watch carefully during this step to avoid burning the crust or vegetables.
- Serve the tart warm or preferably at room temperature. Garnish with basil leaves and a sprinkle of flaky salt, such as Maldon.
Tips for Success:
- Try to buy tomatoes and zucchinis that are similar in diameter–as it will make the layering process much easier and result in a more attractive looking dish.
72 Comments on “Tomato Zucchini Tart”
Can you make this the day of and reheat on a low temp.
Can you make the dough ahead of time and freeze it?
Yes! Definitely. Just wrap tightly with plastic wrap and allow to thaw in fridge – it might take at least 24 hours.
I’m wondering if anyone has made this with a premade piecrust – the kind that you find in the freezer section that is in a metal pan and then you just fill it with stuff and bake. (Yeah I know it’s cheating but I would like to make this today and don’t have the time to make the crust that the recipe calls for.) I’m going to try it regardless but just curious if anyone else has done that and if so what the result might have been.
This is the first time I’ve ever commented on a recipe online and I read a lot of them.
I’ve made this recipe 20 plus times now and it is one of my favorites and never fails to impress!
Seriously.. you will not regret making this! It’s delicious, beautiful and if I could give this 10 stars I would!
I double the Parmesan and throw the basil/oil/garlic mix in the food processor and usually use more of that as well. Also, I blind bake the crust the night before and leave it out wrapped lightly in Saran Wrap overnight as I usually make 1-3 of these for appetizers when hosting dinners large and small and it saves time the next day.
I loved this recipe. MY tomatoes made it a bit watery but other than that I will make this again totally worth all the extra steps. I used all my summer garden veggies and herbs and finished it off with fresh grated Romano and a basalmic glaze. Delicious
Thanks for the feedback Ivy!!!
The recipe looks fab. However, please do not make jokes about OCD. Read up about how crippling it can be and many are suicidal at times with this disorder.
Thanks for reading this.
Thanks for your comment. I removed that sentence, but I don’t think I was particularly making fun of it? Either way, I didn’t mean to offend anyone.
Can this tart be frozen? If so, prior to cooking, or after?
I wouldn’t freeze it prior to cooking – but it *might* do OK frozen after baking. I’m honestly not sure because I’ve never tried this before. I’m a bit hesitant to advise it, because I’m a bit worried that the vegetables, once frozen, might lead to a soggier crust. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!
I’ve baked and then froze this dish and it comes out just a delish once thawed and heated through. Such a delightful recipe I keep going back to it no matter how many other tomato tart recipes I try. It’s just plain yum ?
So glad to hear this!
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I love tomatoes and this was WOWZA! looks delish. My family will love this 🙂
Laura, I decided to make this for Easter brunch this year. Because I am busy, as always, I was going to “cheat” and use store bought crust. Unfortunately (or fortunately) what I had in the refrigerator was a couple of months old and once I baked it, it was cracked to bits and I had to throw it away. With time running short I decided to go ahead and make yours from scratch. I know I put a little more water in than I needed and I didn’t have time to let it rest so I threw it in the freezer for a half hour and crossed my fingers.
When I took it our, it was not frozen, but pretty close to it! I rolled it out quickly putting some muscle into it and got it into the tart pan. Believe it or not, it turned out perfectly. The rest of it went together without incident and in the end, it was just fabulous! Thank you so much for a great recipe that will be part of the menu from here on out. Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes
Yay!! This made me so happy. So glad to hear that you enjoyed it!
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This looks amazing! Could you blind bake the tart shell the day before and assemble the rest the next day? I am making this for a ladies lunch and want to save some time the morning of the get together. Thanks!
Hi Cari! Thanks so much for your comment! I’m so glad to hear that you want to make it–yes, you could certainly blind bake the tart shell the day before (any longer than that, and it might start to gain some moisture in the fridge unless you froze it). Once it has baked, let it cool completely in the pan, wrap the entire thing well with plastic wrap, and store it in the fridge overnight until you are ready to assemble it. Hope this helps and let me know how it turns out! 🙂
I made this for Easter dinner a few months ago- it was a stunner! I just made it last night for a dinner party, as well, and this time I made one as directed and then another with just tomato (I have a friend who doesn’t eat zucchini). Both were amazing! Just wanted to thank you for this recipe. It’s beautiful and looks so much more complicated than it really is 🙂
So very happy to hear this! Thanks so much for the feedback! 🙂
Hey! You made a tart out of everything growing in my garden! I know what I’ll be making tomorrow.
I made this tart w/ some Ohio farmer’s market vegetables, all fresh ingredients, and I don’t think it is even possible to make it more perfect. I considered adding yellow squash and a shallot, but am so glad I didn’t. It was absolutely remarkable – the crust was an ideal consistency, flaky but not falling apart. Did not burn at all.
Following some of the previous reviews, I made sure when I cooked the crust, I let the parchment paper cover the top (including sides) so they didn’t tend to overcook or burn. I also needed to bake the crust for 30 minutes, and at 20 I poked some holes into it with a fork since the beans weren’t enough to keep it from rising. I also let my plum tomatoes sit on a paper towel to drain for a half hour while preparing other things. I salted my garlic for a half hour before mincing it. And I was very generous on the olive oil mixure. There was no sogginess at all, and the best taste. I hope I can reproduce it identical to the one I just made.
P.S. Awesome at room temp as well.
Great tips! Thanks so much for the feedback Melissa! And I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it.
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I love this recipe!
One of my favorites, that’s for sure!! Thanks Jen! (I’ll definitely be sending you another email tomorrow about the Pinterest thing too.)
Hi! I made it . It came out sooooo beautiful and delicious ! Thank you so much for the great idea! I had two small issues: the edges of the crust burnt before I even put the filling while the button of the tart was a little mushy. I’m sure I can work it out somehow because this recipe is definitely a keeper!
Oh I’m so glad!! And thank you for commenting–ok, so I’m wondering whether maybe your oven runs a little hot? The best way to check this is with a oven thermometer. It would explain why the edges would burn, because I’ve never had that issue with this tart any time I’ve made it before. It would most likely result in a crust that is too brown, and a bottom crust which isn’t cooked all the way through. Or, the bottom could be mushy if the tomatoes had too much juice. In that case, roma/plum tomatoes are a better choice. Let me know if this helps!
Thank you for the suggestion. Ill check the oven. Even though it’s pretty new fancy shmancy converctional top of the line oven. Even Michael Jordan misses a shot here and there 🙂 I used plum tomatoes so don’t think that’s the issue. I think I screwed up the dough. I’definately try again and let you know. Thank you!
Ooh! I’m so glad that you mentioned you have a convection oven. I do not–generally, convection ovens (because the heat is more consistent due to the fan) can be set about 25 degrees lower than regular ovens. This might explain some of the browning, perhaps 🙂 Thanks Masha!
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This is beeeeautiful! I have a tart pan that I haven’t used yet, and this would be the perfect way to break it in!! Wow!
Thanks so much Ashley! Let me know if you try it 🙂
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Beautiful tart Laura!
This is gorgeous. Reminds me of the dish in ratatouille, the film that was made for the food critic
Oh my goodness! I totally thought this as well, but I thought it was going to sound crazy to write in the post, so I refrained 🙂 Thanks Rochelle!
I am drooling over here. What a beautiful dish! I feel like it would work really well at a dinner party…with the in-laws…who you really want to impress. Gorgeous!
Thanks Jillian! Brilliant idea–yes, this tart is definitely worthy of a meet with the in laws, haha.
Yes! Definitely a good idea, Jillian. Thanks for visiting!
I totally want to make this but I’m balking at making the dough (student schedule/scared of all that butter). Any pre-made doughs you’d recommend?
After following your blog and others like it for so long, I finally decided to start my own this week, http://adventurefaceliz.wordpress.com. I’d really appreciate if you checked it out!
Haha! Totally understand your predicament. You could definitely buy a store bought pie crust, but homemade is definitely recommended, especially with this specific tart. I’ve heard OK things about Trader Joe’s frozen pie doughs?
Congrats on starting your blog! Can’t wait to check it out.
Wow, That looks so amazing, I could not take a knife to that tart! I would never find the patience to arrange the tomato and zucchini like that, it looks and sounds so good though. I have such a garden glut of zucchinis at the moment and with the weather we’ve been getting they’re turning into marrows!
I think your blog looks beautiful and I love your banner!
Made this at home! Tastes like a burst of summer right in the middle of the gloomy Bombay monsoon… Brilliant recipe 🙂
Wow! I think that is the fastest turnaround from when I’ve posted a recipe to when I’ve heard that someone made it. So happy to hear that Tanvi! 🙂
Haha, I had tomatoes and zucchini lying in the fridge so this recipe was God-sent. Looking forward to more awesome ones. Cheers!
Your tart looks beautiful! It has been a real treat to eat this twice already this summer. It’s so simple and so delicious.
PS: Have I mentioned how very happy I am to see you posting more frequently? Love it!!
This is so gorgeous!! So fancy looking, so you definitely had me fooled :). I can’t wait to try it out!!
That’s always nice to hear! 🙂 It’s definitely fancy, but not too complicated. Just requires a bit of patience. Thanks for visiting Cate!
This is gorgeous! I love the fresh veggies, the simplicity, and the presentation. I would probably get a little OCD with the vegetable-arranging too, but it’s all good. 🙂
Thanks Alexandra! Haha–my OCD definitely came out with the arranging, but once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty quickly. Plus, it’s definitely the fun part. I love having an excuse to make fancy food 😉
This tart looks like a work of art! I’m sure it tastes equally wonderful.
Thanks so much Nora!
Wow, this is one of the most beautiful tarts I have ever seen! It almost looks too good to eat 😉
Thank you Cathleen!! And thanks for stopping by!
So gorgeous! Really, almost too beautiful to eat! 🙂
Almost….but not quite! 🙂
Stunning! So pretty! I am in awe over here. Wow! I love this and am so excited about trying to hopefully make is soon! It is just so pretty and I bet so delicious! YUM!
So excited that you’re excited 🙂 Yay–let me know if you try it!