The other day I got a little carried away at the sight of the mountains of tomatoes so deliciously ripe and glowing red…and ended up buying A LOT. Back home I came back to my mind and realized that if I did not want to spend the next couple of weeks eating pizza and pasta with tomato sauce, I’d have to think of something else. So I teamed the tomatoes with zucchinis, which are also in season right now (hence their other name, summer squash) and basil – obviously always a heavenly combination – and turn the whole thing into a tart.
I’ve been playing around lately with buckwheat flour, which is possibly my favourite gluten-free flour, and was actually quite surprised how well this tart crust turned out. As well as in the processing as in taste.
Just after I had made the photos, I realized I had assembled Italy’s national colours, red, white and green. While this isn’t quite an Italian classics, I doubt, there is anything that symbolizes summer more than tomatoes, garlic and basil on a (imaginary) Tuscan table.
I used a 24 cm diameter tart tin, for larger baking tins, you might need to adjust the recipe.
For the crust:
150g buckwheat flour
50g quinoa flour
2 tbsp arrowroot starch (can be substituted with corn starch)
2 tbsp ground hazelnuts
¼ tsp sea salt
50g butter (add more if necessary until you’ve got a smooth texture)
1 organic egg
60-70ml cold water
For the filling:
150ml soured cream (German soured cream (10 % fat) is not the same as American sour cream, if you can’t find it, replace with crème fraîche, which has 30%, but a similar taste)
1 organic egg
30g pecorino + extra for topping
1 BIG bunch of basil + leaves for topping
sea salt (depending a little on how old – intense – the cheese you are using is)
freshly ground pepper
1 large zucchini
about 25 cherry tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 spring of rosemary
To make the crust, whisk together all dry ingredients, then add butter and the egg. Knead with your hands, while gradually adding the water until you’ve got a smooth ball of shortcrust pastry. Put it in the fridge for at least one hour, but preferably over night (this really makes a difference in the result).
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Grease the tart tin. Roll out the crust between two sheets of baking paper and place in the tart tin (cut off excess batter around the edges). Prick the crust a few times with a fork and pre bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes (this is important, otherwise it will be undercooked).
To make the filling, blend together soured cream, grated pecorino, the egg, basil, sea salt and pepper using a hand held blender or a food processor. Finely slice the courgette and sauté for about 2-3 minutes in a pan on medium heat with olive oil, finely chopped garlic and rosemary, salt and pepper. Remove the pastry from the oven, pour in the cream-basil mixture, assemble the zucchini slices like a circle and place the whole cherry tomatoes in the middle. In the very centre and in some of the gaps I placed quartered tomatoes. Transfer back to the oven and bake on 200°C for 40-45 minutes until the filling has set and the crust has become golden. Sprinkle with a little more grated pecorino and torn basil leaves and serve either warm or cold on a summer picnic.