food to glow

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zucchini and chard tart // food to glowSimple savoury tarts like this are my summer go-to for a quick-to-the-table mid-week meal.

Is that enough hyphens for one sentence? 😉

Actually, I make a version of this all year-round for my cancer nutrition classes. Sometimes with asparagus, sometimes with hummus (!) instead of cheese; occasionally I go a bit bolder and layer it up – almost too heavily so that it bends if you dare pick it up rather than knife and fork it – with roasted winter vegetables. Whichever way I make it, there is never any left. It seems almost everyone loves a bit of pastry. I serve it with loads of salads to counteract the fact that we are having pastry.

My only chance to get in look in myself is to make one at home. One for each of us so that there is no eyeing up who has the biggest piece. I grew up with a sister so fairness and equity in slices and spoonings is very important. 

zucchini and chard tart // food to glowAt this time of year the topping has to be zucchini. Or courgettes, if you prefer. Yellow or green, these mild but very delicious fruits (it’s the seeds that define) are incredibly versatile, and all parts are edible. Heck, even the blowsy flowers are useful – and tasty. Although not quite a super-star like most green vegetables, yellow summer squash are packed with beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin – antioxidant powerhouses. And all varieties are great for vitamin C, copper (great for skin), manganese, magnesium and of course, fibre. At this time of year you should be able to get more than just the green, supermarket, variety so do try to find them at a farmer’s market, or ask your veg box supplier if they have any. The taste is often almost buttery, so they are also just lovely steamed and served as they come. Look out for the buds and flowers too.

As for the chard, we love it and grow it, so it goes in lots of our summer dishes. But if it is hard to find where you are, just leave it out, wilting and squeezing dry some fresh spinach instead.

zucchini and chard tart // food to glow

Zucchini and Chard Tarts – Two Ways

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Feel free to use chard stems, leaves, or both in these simple and really rather lovely individual tarts. As for the cheese, sub with cashew cheese, adding nutritional yeast and lemon zest for oomph; use all ricotta if you can’t get (or don’t want to get) the quark. I like the way quark – fat-free soft cheese – lends a nice lactic note to the taste, but it isn’t necessary. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled. As for serving, half of one might suffice for smaller appetites and for children.

1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry

1 small egg or vegan egg substitute (for brushing on pastry)

80g (2.8 oz) ricotta cheese

40g (1.4 oz) quark cheese*

1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided use (I use smoked olive oil from M&S)

2 -3 chard leaves or stems from about 8, finely shredded or sliced

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp chopped oregano or thyme, plus any flowers

1 small yellow zucchini/summer squash, sliced into thin rounds

1 small green zucchini/courgette, sliced into thin rounds

Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional: 50g blue cheese of choice (I get Vegetarian Society-approved Bishop Cropwell, Blue Vinney or Cashel Blue); truffle honey (I get mine from M&S); pine nuts; extra oregano or thyme; lemon zest

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a baking tray with parchment/wax paper.

2. Use a cereal bowl or similar to cut two disks from the pastry sheet. Take a slightly smaller bowl – or do this ‘by eye’ – and lightly score a border. Don’t go all the way through. Prick each disk all over with a fork – this stops it from billowing up and moving the topping. Brush the edges with the beaten egg; place in the refrigerator for the time being.

3. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a sauté pan, and when medium hot add the chopped chard, garlic and herbs. Saute until the chard is wilted – about three minutes. Allow to cool a bit.zucchini and chard tart // food to glow

4. Now, you have a couple of options. For one version of the tart I mixed the ricotta with the blue cheese and some lemon zest – about 1 tsp – and spread it over both pastry disks. I then divided the warm chard between the two and laid on courgette/zucchini slices and sprinkled on the pine nuts. For the other, I mixed the cooked chard stems with the ricotta and quark, seasoned it generously with salt and pepper, spread it on the pastry and made a concentric pattern with the zucchini slices. Your call. My family liked the blue cheese version, but I preferred the more subtle charms of the one without. For both tarts, brush the zucchini with the remaining oil.zucchini and chard tart // food to glow

zucchini and chard tart // food to glow5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and risen, forming layers.

Serve with salads and – if you like – roasted peppers. We like the “Russian roulette” peppers – Padron. Apparently every thirtieth pepper is crazy-hot. I got two eye-wateringly hot peppers of my eight…

* labneh, fromage frais, farmer’s cheese or queso fresco can all be used instead of quark, although each is slightly different in taste and thickness.

zucchini and chard tart // food to glow

27 thoughts on “Zucchini & Ricotta Tarts

  1. Looks so yummy! I will try and make it as well.

  2. This looks delicious!

  3. que buena pinta todo!!!! y una idea genial!

  4. Yum! Looks amazing! And your pictures are so pretty 🙂

  5. Very very very nice!!!!

  6. superfitbabe says:

    These look astoundingly beautiful!!

  7. chubbynathan says:

    Those recipes look fabulous. I love the photos too, you’ve done a great job.

  8. these look absolutely amazing!

  9. That is absolute summer on a plate. Wonderful recipe, fantastic imagery, perfection. Ive guests coming next week that this will be perfect for, thank you!

  10. aktcornelio says:

    My tummy needs this! Thanks for sharing! I’ll be sure to try it as soon as I get an oven. Wonder if it would be good with goat cheese? 🙂

    1. I often make tarts like this with goat’s but I mention goat’s cheese so much that I thought I would give it a miss here! What I would say is that is I would mix it with ricotta or something light like quark to keep it from being to “goaty” and even a bit chalky in texture. But that’s maybe just me! Thanks for commenting.

      1. aktcornelio says:

        I looove goat cheese, but you’re right! It would be a bit too crumbly with just that. I’ll be sure to try ricotta with it too! Good advice! 🙂

  11. These look divine!

  12. These look delicious and really simple! I don’t know why I never think to do tarts like this. Pinning for later! Also, your pictures are gorgeous!

  13. docellen says:

    Brilliant! I’m making it tonight! Thanks 🙂
    It’s gorgeous and healthy!

  14. Aprylle says:

    This looks so yummy and easy! I have to give it a try – stellar pictures btw!

  15. gorgeozo says:

    Gorgeous! Definitely one to try!

  16. Camilla says:

    Love this tart Kellie, it just oozes goodness and deliciouness:-) I had my first ever culinary experience with chard the other day so thanks for sharing another use for it:-)

  17. These are so beautiful Kellie. I saw it on your Instagram and said straight away that I need to make them soon.

  18. stateeats says:

    So beautiful! Love the colors and different textures. – Kat

  19. Wow!! I must try this!

  20. hungrygirl says:

    Yum! Definitely trying this.:)

  21. OMG!! Those look so delicious!!! And colorful!!! And tasty!!! And just what I need for dinner!! LOL!

  22. I tried it and it was delicious, but my crust was a bit soggier than I would have liked. would you ever recommend cooking tart ahead of time?

    1. I do for work, so yes. Baking times are finicky things on which to advise. Sorry your tart was soggy! If making a large,full-sheet tart the time would definitely increase – by about five minutes. If it was soggy as the smaller rounds I’m wondering if the pastry you were using was thicker. Hmm. I’ll change the directions to offer a range of times depending on thickness. Thanks for letting me know. I’m glad you liked the tste. 😊

  23. yes, I could thin out the crust a bit, or maybe use less cheese. I may have overdone the cheese so it took longer to heat up everything and therefore crisp the crust. Thx

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