Tart Art

Ratatouille Tart

I LOVE making tarts, savory or sweet. Certainly I make my share of quiches, but, honestly, I like anything in a pastry shell. My tart pan with its removable bottom is one piece of kitchen equipment I could never do without. An empty pastry shell is excellent vehicle for turning leftovers or random vegetables in the refrigerator into an elegant-looking meal.

My go-to pastry crust recipe comes from Mark Bittman. Last week, by way of David Lebovitz, I discovered another pastry crust that you must add to your repertoire. This one is a press-in crust made from MELTED butter. The technique is unusual but oh-so-easy. You melt butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt in the oven until the butter browns. Then, you stir in flour and press the dough into the pan. The baked crust is incredibly flaky. The only caveat is that David doesn’t recommend using this crust for a wet filling.

To test out the recipe, I made a beet green tart (sorry, no picture) and found myself falling in love with this crust. All week, I’ve been dreaming about other fillings to try. I was thinking about something with roasted zucchini, when the perfect inspiration came along.

I had all the required vegetables from my CSA share, so I made Ratatouille Tian (from the delightful Clothide of Chocolate and Zucchini’s new book). This mélange of eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and onions is gorgeous to behold. Howard, of course, doesn’t eat eggplant or zucchini, but we had friends coming for dinner, so I had people to share it with.

Ratatouille Tian

The tian made more than we could eat; more than half was leftover. For lunch, I packed the leftover tian into a pastry shell and topped it with crumbled goat cheese for a Ratatouille Tart. It was everything I hoped for.

What other summer fillings can you suggest I try?

Ratatouille Tart
Serves 4 to 6

Pastry shell, baked in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (try this recipe)
3 to 4 cups ratatouille (from Ratatouille Tian or your favorite recipe)
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350F. Fill the pastry shell with ratatouille, as decoratively as possible. Scatter the crumbled goat cheese over the filling evenly.

Bake for 20 minutes, until filling is warm and cheese starts to brown.

Fairy Tale Eggplant: So tiny, aren't they cute?

Fairy Tale Eggplant: So tiny, aren’t they cute?

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Posted on 12 August 2013, in Summer, Summer CSA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Helyn Benjamin

    Hi. Thanks again for everything even the sweater. Fast delivery. Recipe looks delicious and beautiful. Eggplant and zucchini Mel and Howard’s favorite. Xxxxxxx

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Very intrigued by that dough!
    Great tart :-)

  3. I’m also intrigued! Both tarts sound delicious!

  4. Your tart sounds terrific, and I HAVE to try that shell. How great is that?

  5. Hi Betsy ! Not only am I doing a make-up recipe this week…..but I am doing make-up on comments from last week !!! Geez I need to get it together :) You had me chuckling about how you had the peaches on your plate only – not to mention how your guests were the ones to dive into the eggplant and zucchini. I have the opposite where my taste testers will eat anything and hover in the kitchen while I cook and do the “photo shoot”. Not looking like I will be in the car for the Boston drop off at months end but I did place an order with hubby for a cannoli. We are past due for a taste test so I am going to ask him to hit Modern this time too – I walked past it once on a very full tummy. At least we can finally catch up in Seattle (though cant believe we will all be traveling so far to finally neet face to face !!!). See you soon !!!! Tricia

  6. I love the idea of a tart dough that I don’t have to roll out! And with ratatouille filling sounds even better!

  7. My favorite pastry comes from Nick Malgieri, but I am so intrigued with the crust from David Lebowitz. I will be trying it this week. My tart pans definitely get a workout in my kitchen too! Tarts always look so pretty on the table and they’re so delicious. Yours look scrumptious! Love the idea of a ratatouille filling!

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