Zucchini, Carrot & Onion “Tart” with Smoked Gouda

April 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: So first-off, let me admit something. This isn’t really a tart. I don’t have a tart pan, so I took a tart recipe, put it into a pie pan, and basically made it a quiche. With that said, it is actually really, really good. One of the best things I’ve had recently. Let me also admit, this is not a health food. With a cup-and-a-half of cream, I wouldn’t suggest having much of this if you want to avoid a coronary. But you will surely want seconds.

a little self control goes a long way

This is the sort of thing you make for friends and extended family. This is the sort of thing you make for Thanksgiving or Christmas, when you are going to eat like mad anyway. Your family will love you, your in-laws will worship you, and once everyone emerges from their food coma they will need neither food nor drink for a week. This is what they served on Mount Olympus. This tart has toppled kings and empires. This . . . sorry I got a little carried away there.

Basically, this is an insanely-good, quiche-tart wrapped up in a light lemony-bread “crust.” We’ll go over the pie crust first, which I suggest you use for everything. I intend to try it as the crust for a key lime pie at some point. Then we’ll cover the other stuff.

Based roughly upon this recipe by Syd, from allrecipes.


1 pkg. active dry yeast (about .25 to .30 oz is fine)
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 egg
3 tbsp room-temperature butter
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2-3 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 sweet yellow onion
3 small carrots
1 small zucchini (used about 2/3 of a large one)
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 pinch salt
1/8 tsp celery seed
1 c. grated smoked Gouda cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
2 eggs
1.5 c. heavy cream
1/4 tsp ground mustard

The dough: Start by opening the package of yeast, and sprinkling it over the 1/2 cup warm water (make sure the water is a good temperature for yeast, no more than 100F). Let it stand for a few minutes as the yeast dissolves. It should form a foam, but if it doesn’t, and you know the yeast is good, don’t worry too much about it. Mine didn’t really and it was fine. Beat in 1 egg and the butter.

and so it begins

Wash the lemon and grate your lemon zest. Mix the dry ingredients and pour them into the liquid.

this ends up slightly dry, but don't fear

Stir in the flour, salt, and lemon zest, and work the dough lightly until it forms a ball (I had to “knead” it for a minute or two to get it to come together, but don’t work it too much). Coat the bowl and the ball with oil. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or so, until doubled in volume.

this is from before it rose . . . it didn't change much

Mine didn’t double. It barely expanded at all, but I cut it open and determined that there were bubbles in it meaning the yeast was alive, and I went forward anyway. It worked out great, so don’t worry too much if it doesn’t behave. Punch it down and decide what you are doing with it. Either spread it out with your fingers into a 10-inch tart pan (with a removable bottom). Or, if you are like me, roll out with a rolling pin and place into a 10-inch pie pan. Cut the edges and re-form them to make it nice and round.

this is where we start to diverge from the source

Put that in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes, and start working on the filling.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cut up the onion, heat the olive oil in a skillet, and cook until the onion softens.

I love pictures like this

While the onions are cooking, cut up the carrots and zucchini, like so:

carrots in rings, zucchini in half-slices

When the onions have softened, add the salt, pepper, celery seed, carrots, and zucchini. Sautée for a few minutes on medium heat until the carrots and zucchini soften. Ten minutes should do nicely.

this is good stuff

While that’s cooking, grate the cheeses. Take the crust out of the fridge, and lay the cheeses in the bottom.

make sure you cut a few slices of cheese to eat too

When the veggies are done, lay them on top of the cheese.

quite pretty, no?

Then, work on the rest of the filling. Pour the cream into a separate bowl, and add the eggs and ground mustard. Whisk together briefly until some bubbles have formed. Pour that evenly over the vegetables and cheese.

almost ready to bake

Put the quiche/tart into the preheated oven. It should take between 45 minutes and 1.25 hours to be done. Check it often after about 45 minutes, using a knife or toothpick to test for done-ness. The original recipe says 30-45 minutes, but this was not nearly enough for me. You want the custard to have set all the way through, so that a knife or toothpick comes out clean. When it is done, take it out and let it cool a little. It should look like this:

this is what mine looked like

Serve with a vegetable (your arteries will thank you), and enjoy the food of the gods.

a little slice of Mt. Olympus


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