The recipe for Tomato and Summer Squash Tart was inspired by the Summer Vegetable Gratin recipe from America’s Test Kitchen but I ended up eliminating the cheese and breadcrumbs, in addition to making a few substitutions, and was left a delightful vegetable tart. To make the flavorful tart, the vegetables are thinly sliced and layered in a casserole dish, topped with a fresh herb gremolata and baked until deliciously tender. The prepping of the vegetables and assembly of the tart does take a little time but once the tart is in the oven, you have some free time to work on other components of your meal. Don’t skip the step of drying the vegetables since it really helps prevent the tart from being watery and flavorless. This magnificent vegetable dish is worth a little extra effort!
Tomato and Summer Squash Tart
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1.5 pounds Roma tomatoes (about 6 tomatoes)
1 large summer squash
1 large zucchini
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large fennel bulbs
Salt & Pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoon fennel fronds, finely chopped (if your fennel doesn’t have the fronds attached, substitute with 1 tablespoon basil and 1 tablespoon parsley)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
6 sundried tomatoes halves, not packed in oil, reconstituted and finely chopped
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Prepping the Vegetables:
1. Line 3 large baking sheets with aluminum foil, then place a double layer of paper towels on top of the foil.
2. Cut off the stems, and thinly slice the tomatoes. Arrange in a single layer on one the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle tomatoes generously with salt. Place another double layer of paper towels on top of the tomatoes. Press down gently to help remove any excess moisture. Let tomatoes dry while you prepare the rest of the components.
3. Repeat the drying process with the summer squash and zucchini- cut off the ends, thinly slice into rounds, arrange on remaining baking sheets, top with a double layer of paper towels, and press down gently.
Caramelizing the Fennel:
1. While the vegetables are drying , remove the fennel fronds, reserving 2 tablespoons for the gremolata. Place one of the fennel bulbs upright so it’s standing on the flat base, then cut in half. Place the halves, cut side on on cutting board, and thinly slice crosswise. (For more details, check out this Bon Appetit article) . Repeat with remaining fennel bulb.
2. Add olive oil to a large nonstick skillet and heat to medium high.
3. Add sliced fennel to skillet and sauté for 12-14 minutes, or until tender and golden in color.
3. Season fennel with salt and pepper, to taste, then set aside.
Making the Garlic Oil:
1. While the fennel is caramelizing, whisk together all ingredients for the garlic oil in a small dish.
Assembling the Tart:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with nonstick spray.
2. Add zucchini and summer squash to a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the prepared garlic oil.
3. Layer zucchini and squash in an even layer on the base of casserole dish, slightly overlapping each slice. (You may not need all of the slices, just use enough to cover the bottom of dish).
4. Arrange the fennel on top of the zucchini/squash in an even layer.
5. Next. layer the tomato slices side by side, on top of the fennel layer, slightly overlapping each tomato slice. Brush the tops of tomatoes with the remaining garlic oil.
6. Place dish in oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Making the Gremolata:
1. While the tart is baking, prepare the gremolata. In a small bowl, toss together fennel, basil, parsley, sundried tomatoes, and lemon zest until combined. Add olive oil and toss to combine. Set aside.
Finishing the Tart:
1. After the tart has baked for 45 minutes, remove dish from oven, and sprinkle the top evenly with the herb gremolata.
2. Return tart to oven, and bake for 15 minutes more, or until tops of tomatoes are golden and vegetables are tender.
3. Let tart cool for 5-10 minutes prior to serving, then cut into slices and enjoy!
Nutrition Information--approximately 230 calories per serving