My Recipe Box

Zucchini Tart with Lemon Thyme and Goat Cheese


Serves 8

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 117

When preparing the dough for this gorgeous tart, don’t omit the white vinegar: It makes the crust flaky and tender.

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 oz. cold unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1-1/2 lb. zucchini, trimmed and sliced into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. plain goat cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh lemon thyme
If you can’t find lemon thyme, use 1 tsp. chopped thyme and 1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest instead.

In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, and 3/4 tsp. salt until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the vinegar and 3 to 4 Tbs. cold water, pulsing until the dough just comes together. Shape the dough into a 1-inch-thick disk; wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. Roll the dough on a well-floured surface into an 11-inch round that’s 1/4-inch thick. Put the dough on a baking sheet, cover with plastic, and chill until ready to use, at least 30 minutes.

In a colander, toss the zucchini with 2 tsp. salt and drain for 30 minutes. Gently squeeze the slices with your hands to release excess water and transfer to a medium bowl.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Toss the zucchini with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese with the lemon thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Spread the cheese over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Arrange the squash rounds in tightly overlapping concentric circles all the way to the edge of the dough. (The rounds will shrink as they cook.) Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and bake until the zucchini is golden-brown, 40 to 50 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

If you’re serving this tart for a party, be sure to have summery drinks on hand; Garden Party Cocktails would be perfect or serve it with Tomato and Watermelon Salad with Feta.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 320, Fat (kcal): 24, Fat Calories (g): 210, Saturated Fat (g): 14, Protein (g): 8, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8, Carbohydrates (mg): 18, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 500, Cholesterol (g): 50, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I have made this many, many times to rave reviews. It is so impressive when it comes out of the oven that everyone always oohs and aahs. I always use store made crust and thyme and lemon zest as I have no lemon thyme. In that case, it is important to let the cheese mixture sit a bit to allow the flavors to blend and permeate the goat cheese. I have tried it with various boursin cheese flavors, but they overpower the zucchini. A tart made with zucchini and summer squash is beautiful. If there is any left over (a rare occurrence) we enjoy it as a breakfast treat.

Absolutely delicious. I liked this recipe from the minute I received my copy of Ina's Make it Ahead. I prepared it for guests with children and it vanished in no time at all. I also gave the recipe to my guests as they liked it so much. I used ready made puff pastry as I had a lot of other pieces to prepare and used separate lemon peel and thyme although I have lemon thyme in my garden. I'm a great lover of lemon peel. I stuck to the recipe and it was wonderful. Certainly a winner, really decorative on the table and all guests wanted to try it out as soon at it was out of the oven. Recipe is for keeps! Thank you Ina, my lunch party was a success xxx

I made this tart that for a party and many of my guests said that it was their favorite dish on the menu. I did use a combination of zucchini and yellow squash. It was really pretty. I would recommend cutting the yellow squash a bit thicker as it is more delicate than the zucchini. I also sprinkled a little extra lemon thyme on the finished tart with a generous dusting of freshly cracked pepper. Crust was crispy, buttery, light and delicious. Definitely a keeper.

Excellent. I used a garlic and herb Boison and added tons of pepper fantastic. Will make it again and again.

So easy. The crust is amazing. Was thinking that Boursin Pepper cheese would be a good sub for, or addition to the goat cheese.

Awesome. Easy but a bit time consuming placing all those zucchini slices, but it looked amazing. There was nothing left of it. Will make it again for sure!

Absolutely delicious. Just perfect as it is written. For a more cheesy appetizer : add 1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan in the crust.

Delicious and easy enough for a weeknight if you do as I did. Trader Joe's sells a frozen pie dough that's already rolled out flat. I used that in addition to some purchased herbed garlic goat cheese rather than combining my own thyme. I subbed half summer squash and half zucchini since that's what I had. A mandoline is a necessity; I cut all of the vegetables in about two minutes flat. I also salted them and put them on paper towels between two cookie sheets with a heavy weight on top a la Alton Brown. It turned out even more beautiful than the picture because of the two contrasting colors of squash and absolutely delicious. I also put the dough on parchment paper, since I found it odd that there was no greasing the pan step that I saw. Between the shortcuts I think the prep time was about 15 minutes, easy enough for any weeknight with minimal cleanup.

I made this for the first time last night and it will definitely not be the last. Tastes great and looks beautiful. The crust is amazing and there are so many ways you can improvise with different herbs and toppings.

So delicious! My husband said yuck when he saw the zucchini straining, but ate seconds of the tart. I used lemon basil instead of lemon thyme and it was perfect!

My guests and I really enjoyed this recipe. I served it with a fresh garden salad and cucumber soup. There are two changes I would make the next time I make it, and there will be a next time. One, I would change the dough because it just crumbled so easily. I prefer a little more tender crust- so I probably would add an egg or something. The other thing I would do is add another layer of zucchini. I wanted a bit more zucchini in my bite. Great with dill and garlic instead of lemon thyme. See my post at Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness.

Loved this recipe! My daughters are big fans of goat cheese so it is not a stretch to say that they devoured this tart. I am looking forward to making it for guests as an appetizer for a late summer BBQ.

I have made this tart twice now, both times to rave reviews! My friends want the recipe.

Everyone loved this recipe. Perfect for a light dinner with a salad or as an appetizer. It is very easy but make sure you calculate in the time for it to be in the refrigerator. It is one of my go to recipes.

Made the recipe as called for except with the addition of fresh chopped chives to the goat cheese. I thought the dish was a little bland although everyone else loved it. If I made it again I would season the zucchini like I was going to roast them and then put them on the goat cheese for some added flavor. The crust was good just make sure you don't roll it to thin on the edges - it will burn before the pie is done.

YUMMY!!! So glad I grow lemon thyme in our garden. So easy and delicious.

Cookbooks, DVDs & More