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Pesto & Zucchini Tart

 In Dinner/Supper, Lunch, Salads & Starters, Vegetarian

Pesto & Zucchini Tart

In South-Africa, most cities are now experiencing cool mornings and evenings, which means that Autumn is here. I absolutely love this time of year when salads become stews and soups and I can start wearing my favourite coats and boots. I am after all, a Winter baby.

But I do get sad when I walk into the produce section of a supermarket and the only fruit on offer are citrus related. There’s just nothing like the fresh nectarines, peaches, watermelon and grapes you get in Summer. And the same goes for vegetables. But I’m very excited to be experimenting with root vegetables, mushrooms etc. this Winter.

Pesto & Zucchini Tart

So to bid Summer farewell, I decided to make the best of it and I made this gorgeous tart. Not that you can’t make this in Winter (the variations are endless), but tarts and quiches are almost synonymous with Summer to me. Zucchini (Courgette) is probably my favourite vegetable at the moment so that would get the starring roll in my tart. I had a version of this last week with ripe, sliced tomatoes which was to die for and I started thinking of fabulous combinations. Using the same pesto ‘base’, you could add things like thinly sliced potatoes and fresh chives, pan-fried mushrooms with garlic, small cubes of roasted butternut and crumbled feta…there are truly endless combinations.

I really like the freshness of zucchini to be balanced with a spicy kick, so just before serving, I sprinkled over just a bit of finely chopped chillies and I also added a few baby mint leaves, for that extra Summer kick. And for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who are going into Spring now, make use of all those gorgeous fresh vegetables you’ll be able to get hold of and play with different combinations, let me know what you come up with!

Pesto & Zucchini Tart

Makes 1 tart (Serves 4-6)

1 roll, ready-made puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3tbsn basil pesto
4tbsn Crème fraiche
5 large zucchini, thinly sliced or sliced using a vegetable peeler
1tsp red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
2tbsn baby mint leaves or sliced mint
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil, to drizzle

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
  • To make the tart, roll out the puff pastry slightly and score a border around the edge. (As you’ll see in the photo, there is a border, this is done by scoring the pastry. Use a sharp knife for this but make sure that you don’t cut all the way through the pastry). Place the pastry on a greased baking tray.
  • Brush the border with the egg.
  • Mix the pesto and Crème fraiche and spread on the pastry, leaving the border clean.
  • Place the Zucchini ribbons on the pastry and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is golden and the zucchini is cooked.
  • Sprinkle with the chopped chillies and mint. Season with salt & pepper and drizzle with some olive oil.
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Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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Showing 9 comments
  • Colleen
    Reply

    Beautiful tart. I love the versatility of zucchini…and of course the pesto!! 🙂 xx

  • Carlette/Ting ting
    Reply

    oo lala I made something similar but mine was with caramelised onion and some pesto if you fancied adding some!
    http://nunuza.blogspot.com/2011/03/budget-beater-bourgeois-tart-or-just.html

    youre looks divine!

  • Amy
    Reply

    Sounds delicious.. I’m def going to give it a try this weekend. baby marrows are the some of the most versatile vegetables i know…
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Andrea Vogel
    Reply

    I tried this recipe on Friday when my parents were visiting with the addition of such mushrooms and its was Delicioussssss! Only thing is that I needed to cook it a little longer so as to ensure its cooked at the bottom as well. Last night I made it again but with roast butternut, glazed onions, fresh coriander and feta cheese – oh my YUM! my husband had decided that its one of his new all-time favourites and has decided to help think up further winning combinations! Thanks for sharing your Amazing recipes – they are truly inspirational! xx

    • Ally_R
      Reply

      Andrea: I am so glad you liked the tart. Wow, you are quite the imaginative cook there! I LOVE that you are using your own combinations, that’s exactly what cooking is all about. I hope you and your husband continue to be so creative in the kitchen. And it’s only a pleasure, sharing my recipes and knowing they are inspiring others is so rewarding!

  • polkadotcupcake
    Reply

    I love your recipes, m’dear! used your chicken cordon bleu the other night, and used your roast butternut soup for inspiration, and this is just wonderful! winter always makes me crave puff pastry, WIN!

    • Ally_R
      Reply

      Polkie : Aw thanx darling! I’m so glad to hear that my recipes work for others and that they enjoy them as much as we do! 🙂

  • Sense of Home
    Reply

    This looks delicious! I am really looking forward to summer vegetables and fresh eating again.

    -Brenda

  • Marisa
    Reply

    Totally understand where you’re coming from – I’m also on a mission to utilise all the lovely summer fruit & veg to the max before they go out of season! Great looking tart – love the chilli kick.

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