Sometimes I am so naive and illogical I wonder how I've made it to be the ripe old age of 25. A prime example of this is my previous wonderment in relation to how people cut their vegetables so finely and uniformly, while my own carrot batons ranged from the size of a matchstick to the size of half a carrot. When I finally learned of such a thing as a mandoline, I knew that I really needed to acquire one. As luck (and some mandoline hint heavy emailing) would have it, Williams Sonoma asked me to create a recipe using this mandoline, and of course I jumped at the chance. I can now create uniformly sized carrot batons, and if that isn't the dream then I'm unsure what is.
FOR THE TART CRUST
1 cup tapioca flour
1 ½ cups almond meal
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
20g freshly grated parmesan
FOR THE FILLING
500g firm ricotta (from the deli)
½ cup water
100g freshly grated parmesan
30-50g capers, depending on how much you luff capers
75g Persian or Danish feta
1 bunch mint, finely chopped
1 bunch dill, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons nutmeg
3-4 medium sized zucchinis
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. In your food processor, combine all the ingredients for the tart crust, until it comes together into a dough. Grease your tart tin and press the dough into it until it is nice and snug. Discard any leftover dough. Poke a few lil fork holes in the base to allow air to escape, and then pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
3. In the meantime, mix together the ingredients for the filling. Loosen the ricotta with the water, and then add the eggs, salt and pepper, nutmeg, chilli, and cheeses. Continue to stir until all combined. Add the chopped herbs and capers last, and stir them through thoroughly.
4. Use your mandoline (being very careful of your fingers - I learned that lesson for you) slice your zucchini lengthways into the finest slices you can. Once you've done this, slice each of those thin slices in half, lengthways (so you have two long slices instead of one) - the easiest way to do this is by hand (I'm not tricky enough to do this with my mandoline yet)
5. Once the base is cooked and cooled, pour the cheesy ricotta mixture into it, and smooth it over.
6. Now for the fun part. Take one zucchini ribbon, and curl it around itself, until it becomes a little circle. Get it as tight a circle as you can, and plonk this circle in the middle of the tart, pressing it down into the ricotta a little. Continue to wrap your zucchini around this centre circle, and keep going and going and going until you have completely covered the tart in zucchini. This step is actually a whole lot easier than it looks, I promise. Plus, I've taken a few progress shots below.
7. Pop the tart into the oven, and cook for around 40 minutes to an hour. The zucchini might leak liquid - you can either drain it (covered in salt to extract moisture) beforehand, or you can just use a bit of kitchen towel to suck the moisture off the top of the tart after it cooks. That is the infinitely easier option.
8. Gently cut (the oodles of zucchini slices necessitate a sharp knife and decisive cutting) and eat!