Spicy smoky zucchini & tomato tart

Smoky zucchini and tomato tart

Here at The Ordinary, we have acquired our first real food processor. It didn’t come with instructions, but we are performing exhaustive experiments in our extensive underground kitchen-laboratories to determine its function and capabilities. We have puréed paper, grated legos, and julienned our entire DVD collection. We would like to inform you that from this point onward, every thing we cook will be diced and sliced to within an inch of its life. You have been warned!! I’m joking, of course, but I’m very excited to finally have a food processor. My friend Jenny gave me her old cuisinart. I brought it into the house and Malcolm said, “Oooooh, what’s that?” And then he and I gathered around our new toy, and tried to figure out how to use it. Did you know that every little piece has to be locked into place, in a certain order, or it won’t work? I didn’t! I kept loading it up, pressing the button, expecting a huge loud noise, and then….nothing! We finally got it all figured out, though. And before I knew it Malcolm had grated two large zucchinis. And then I had to try the knife-type blade, so we chopped up some basil, cilantro, tomatoes, almonds and hazelnuts. We made a chunky sort of sauce. Very smoky and flavorful, because I’d put every smoky thing I could find in … black cardamom, nigella seeds, smoked paprika. We ate it with saltine crackers, and it was very tasty! The next day, I decided to further test the abilities of my processor, and I pureed this chunky sauce till quite smooth, then added some eggs and milk, put it all in a biscuit-like crust with smoked paprika in it, added some fresh cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and made a tart! What with the nuts and all, it’s almost like a savory frangipane. We ate it with potatoes roasted with tomatoes and shallots, which were sort of saucy, and everything went well together. You could make this with a blender and a regular grater, if you don’t happen to have a food processor.

Smoky zucchini/tomato/nut sauce

Here’s Sly and the Family Stone with Thank You Fallettin Me Be Mice Elf Again to dance to while you puree, grate and julienne. Thanks for the food processor, Jenny!!

THE CHUNKY SAUCE

2 large zucchinis, grated
1 T olive oil
1 onion – finely chopped
1 clove garlic – minced
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
2 black cardamom seeds
1 t smoked paprika
1/4 t cayenne, or to taste (or chipotle puree, for extra smokiness!)
1 t nigella seeds
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro (or to taste)
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 t sherry vinegar
salt & pepper

Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, the bay leaves, cardamom pods and nigella seeds, and cook till the garlic starts to brown. Add the zucchini, and cook till it’s wilted and the pan is quite dry.

In a blender or food processor, combine the nuts, one tomato, the basil, cilantro, sherry vinegar, smoked paprika, cayenne, and about 1/2 cup of water. Process till you have a chunky sort of sauce. Pour this over the zucchini, and add the other chopped tomato. Season with salt and pepper. Cook till it’s as saucy as you like it – you can add more water if you like it quite saucy.

THE TART…

THE CRUST

2 cups flour
1 t smoked paprika
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
6 T butter -frozen
1 egg
ice water

Combine the flour, paprika, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Grate in the butter, and mix till you have a coarse, crumb like texture. Stir in the egg, and then add just enough water to pull it altogether into a workable dough. (A tablespoon or two should do it) Knead to be sure the egg and butter are incorporated throughout, and then set aside to chill for at least half an hour)

TO ASSEMBLE

1 heaping cup of the sauce described above
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t smoked paprika
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400

In a blender or food processor, combine 1 heaping cup of the sauce (be sure to remove hte bay leaves and cardamom pods), eggs, milk, and spices. Puree until quite smooth.

Roll out the dough and press it into a buttered tart pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, till it loses it’s shininess.

Pour the filling into the tart pan. Arrange the cheese and tomatoes prettily on the sauce.

Bake for about half an hour, till it’s puffed and golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes before you cut into it.

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4 thoughts on “Spicy smoky zucchini & tomato tart

  1. I wouldn’t like to be without mine. Do you have the model that also has the small bowl and blade for chopping and making smaller quantities of sauces, such as pesto? Remember you can also use it to knead bread dough; it doesn’t need the special hooks, the ordinary blade works perfectly well.

    • THis model is fairly old and standard. I do have a small one for making baby food, that I’ve used for pesto. But it doesn’t get everything nice and smooth.

      Good to know about the bread dough! I love kneading dough by hand, but lately I’ve been trying to work with wetter and wetter dough, and it gets to a point when you CAN’T knead it by hand anymore.

  2. I love it for chopping up garlic -turn on the machine and then drop cloves of garlic into the tube and presto, chopped garlic.

    I also love it for making homemade mayonnaise. Put an organic egg, 1 T. vinegar, 2 t. Dijon mustard, 1/4 t. kosher salt and some fresh ground pepper. into the bowl and blend a little. Then measure out 1/2 c. olive oil and a 1/2 c. canola oil (or all olive oil) and put it into the pusher in the feed tube (it won’t all fit at once) and turn on the machine. There should be a tiny hole in the bottom of the pusher which feeds the oil slowly into the bowl so in about three minutes or when the oil is all gone, you should have mayonnaise. I do not keep it very long like regular mayo. I suppose it might freeze – have not tried that. Enjoy!

  3. Thanks – I’ll try the mayo. That slow-release function is one of the ways that this differs from a blender, and I’m very excited to make use of it!

    I used the processor last night to slice potatoes, and I was so shocked by the speed and quality and evenness that I forgot what I was going to make with them! I panicked! It was fun though. The possibilities are endless…

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