Monday, August 29, 2011

summer squash ricotta tart.

germany's summer is on its way out (.... did it ever really arrive?!) and taking the overflowing shelves of juicy yellow and green squash with it. while i have to admit my giddiness at starting to spot small tables of funky shaped gourds around town, i can't help but worry that i didn't stuff my face with enough of summer's bounty while it lasted. 

i've been a vegetarian for around five years, and in this time, i've naturally switched over to buying organic produce. i also buy a fair amount local, simply because i can't get enough of the superb selection and cheeriness of farmers' markets. and because i know in my heart of hearts that it's important. but (all locavores please turn away!), buying local hasn't always been my top priority, and i've consciously bought bananas from spain or leeks from holland when they were the only ones there. however, seeing this, reading this, and joining this got me seriously thinking about how to change my ways.

enter: northern california! my new home for the next 5 years (if i'm an efficient PhD student) and maybe the farmers' market capital of the world. hopefully not a bad place to try and meet my new goal.

still, i'm not sure what the situation on oversized, delicious squash will be. so i'm overdosing while i can! i prepared this tart for an indoor potluck, and i was barely able to snap enough photos before it disappeared into guests' bellies. it's delicious both slightly warm out of the oven as well as at room temperature. if there's time again before autumn officially arrives, i'll be making this no cutlery needed, low maintenance dish again to get my last fill of summer.
summer squash ricotta tart
adapted from closet kitchen

1/2 cup ricotta
1/4 cup crumbled feta
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup herbs (chives and basil, for instance)
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 small zucchini
1 summer squash
1 tablespoon olive oil

preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius.

mix the ricotta, feta, lemon, herbs, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl. roll the puff pastry out and place on baking pan or rack. score a line around the dough about 2 cm from the edge.

spread the ricotta mixture over the center of the dough. arrange the zucchini and squash slices on top of the ricotta mixture (you can alternate colors, depending on your aesthetic preferences). brush the outside inch of the pastry with the oil.

bake until the zucchini is tender and the pastry is golden brown, about 15-25 minutes.