I’m sure my readers have noticed me waxing rapturous about most vegetables that come my way, particularly throughout the summer time. The only summer veggie that I have a very indifferent relationship with is summer squash. I attribute it to the fact that summer squash has a propensity to become slimy when cooked, which is a texture I just can’t stand in food. That said, I really enjoy cooking with squash blossom flowers, and with that in mind, planted a summer squash plant about mid-way through the growing season this year. My logic was that it just wouldn’t produce fruit – I’d be diligent about plucking the flowers and using them.
Try as one might, it’s hard to be a prurient guardian of a vegetable’s chastity. My summer squash defied me and set out squash anyway. It turns out I had a yellow zucchini on my hands. I picked it before it became a giant and grabbed one of the smaller ones that was starting to grow, too. I decided finding a way to cook it very minimally would be the way to go, so sliced off about sixteen thin slices and set them aside for this goat cheese summer squash tart (the remainder was grated and made into zucchini coconut cashew muffins – recipe to come). It turned out so well that I almost regret not having more summer squash on the way. I’m already starting to envision planting several zucchini next year, thus starting a cycle of vegetable love and loathing all over again.
Summer Squash and Goat Cheese Tart
1 recipe rough puff pastry
1 very small zucchini or other summer squash
2 ounces goat cheese
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup walnut pieces (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Slice the zucchini into thin slices – you should have at least sixteen slices.
Roll out the rough puff pastry into a square that is 8 inches by 8 inches. Divide into four squares that are 4 inches by 4 inches. Place the squares on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
Place the zucchini slices in the middle of each square, 4 slices to a square. Divide the thyme leaves, goat cheese, and walnuts (if using) over the zucchini. You can fold up the sides of each square to create a border or use any leftover strips of puff pastry to do the same.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is a light golden brown.