Summer Squash Tart

August 16, 2011

Time for more zucchini recipes! This tart recipe from the ATK Family Baking Book is a variation on their tomato tart with ricotta and mozzarella filling. Instead of using only zucchini, I alternated yellow squash and zucchini for some color variation (and because I had more yellow squash than zucchini in my fridge last week). This recipe isn’t particularly practical for making from start-to-finish on a weeknight after work (unless you routinely eat dinner at 9 PM, haha!), but the shell can be baked and kept at room temperature up to 2 days before assembling and baking the final tart. The crust is made with a super easy press-in dough rather than a traditional rolled dough and uses olive oil instead of butter. Be sure to only press it 3/4 of the way up the sides of the tart pan because the filling is shallow.

We ate this as a vegetarian main dish, but it could also be served as a first course. I am looking forward to trying the tomato version when we start receiving fresh tomatoes in our CSA box! It’s been very hot and dry here this summer except for the past week or so, when we’ve had very heavy rains for several days in a row and I’m not sure how that will affect the harvest. Last year we barely got any tomatoes due to blight, so I’m hopeful that this year more will be coming our way!

Summer squash tart

Makes one 9-inch tart



  • 1 1/4  cups (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1  tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 6  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3  tablespoons ice water


  • 2  ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1  small zucchini and 1 small yellow squash, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • Salt
  • 2  tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2  cup ricotta cheese
  • 1  ounce mozzarella, shredded (1/4 cup)
  • Pepper
  • 2  tablespoons chopped fresh basil


  1. For the tart shell: Process the flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor until combined. Drizzle the olive oil over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand, about 12 pulses. Add 2 tablespoons of the ice water and continue to process until large clumps of dough form and no powdery bits remain, about 5 seconds. If the dough doesn’t clump, add the remaining 1 tablespoon ice water and pulse to incorporate. Remove from processor and press into a rough ball.
  2. Tear the dough into walnut-sized pieces and pat into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, pressing it 3/4 of the way up the sides of the pan. Lay plastic wrap over the dough and smooth out any bumps using the palm of your hand. Leaving the plastic on top of the dough, place the tart pan in the freezer and freeze until form, about 30 minutes.
  3. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat to 375 degrees F. Set the tart pan on a large baking sheet. Remove the plastic wrap and press a double layer of foil into the frozen shell and over the edges; fill with pie weights. Bake until the tart shell is golden brown and set, about 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and carefully remove the weights and foil.
  4. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the Parmesan evenly over the bottom of the tart shell, return the baking sheet to the oven, and continue to bake until the cheese is golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Let the tart shell cool on the baking sheet while making the filling. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
  5. For the filling: Meanwhile, spread the zucchini and yellow squash out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let drain for 30 minutes; gently blot the sliced squash dry with paper towels before using. Whisk 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the garlic together in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, ricotta, mozzarella, and remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil together and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the tart shell. Shingle the zucchini and yellow squash on top of the ricotta in concentric circles. Drizzle the garlic-olive oil mixture evenly over the squash. Bake the tart on the baking sheet until the cheese is bubbling and the squash is slightly wilted, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Let the tart cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with the basil. Remove tart from pan and serve warm.

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