This is one of those recipes that I’ve held onto without completion for a few months now (I use the term ‘few’ loosely…I think it may have been back from June and here we are in December). I actually completely forgot about it until the other day when I was looking through photos on my computer and realized ‘AH!! I love this one and haven’t shared it!’.
It’s funny though, as long ago as it was, I can still remember the exact day that I made this, because the idea for it came from a conversation with a friend at the Farmer’s Market this summer. We were walking around admiring all of the fruits and vegetables, and she was telling me about a dinner plans she had with out of town guests, and what should she make? I suggested that she make a vegetable tart with all the beautiful veggies that we were seeing. And then I thought, I’m gonna make one too! I wanted to keep it basic, and wanting to keep the colors bright, so I went with this yellow squash, zucchini, and tomato crostata. I made a crostata instead of a tart because, if you can believe it, I don’t own a tart pan. That reason and also the fact that a free formed crostata is way less work in my opinion. Oh, and the fact that I LOVE the rustic look of a crostata. It looks handmade and cozy.
I love, love, love this crust. It’s melt in your mouth buttery delicious and gives me that ‘Ohhhhhh’ feeling that I get when I bite into something that makes me giddy. Which is always a good thing…
I’m thinking that the next time that I make this (aka 2 weeks from now for a holiday gathering with friends) I’m going to do it with portobellas and red peppers with spinach and a blue cheese-feta mix. Kind of can’t wait to make it again. Mostly because of the crust, and also for the new veggie additions. Either way, I’m hoping to evoke that ‘Ohhhhh’ feeling in them as well…
Just a couple of ingredients for the super tasty pastry crust.
Use a food processor to mix it quick. This helps to keep the butter nice and COLD. This is what makes the crust reeeeaaallly flaky and delicious.
Have a little minion work the buttons. They loooooove pushing buttons…
You want the mixture to look like this just before you add the water. It’s light and fluffy…
Pulse in the water until the dough JUST comes together. Then use your hands to do the rest. You want to work with the dough as little as possible, which also helps to keep the butter from getting too warm.
It’s hard to see here, but there are tiny pieces of butter throughout the dough. When it bakes, they will create steam pockets which creates the really flaky crust.
While the dough is chilling, slice up your veggies and herbs.
Once you’ve rolled out your dough, lightly brush the top of it with extra virgin olive oil. Then sprinkle on the fresh thyme, red pepper flakes, fresh ground pepper and kosher salt.
Give a little sprinkle of feta cheese over the spices and herb…
Layer on the thicker veggies first….
Then the tomatoes, another sprinkling of thyme, salt and pepper, and just a touch of fresh grated parmesan cheese to bind it a bit.
Bake and cool a touch…
Then slice and serve!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons ice water
1 small yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch slices
3-4 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, divided
1 tsp fresh ground pepper, divided
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 tsp red pepper flakes, divided
2 Tbs feta cheese
2 Tbs freshly grated parmesan cheese
Directions for the crust:
1. Mix the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the ice water and pulse until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. (If the dough still crumbles and does not form into a ball, add another tablespoon of ice water slowly until it does.) Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and dust a large piece of Parchment paper lightly with flour. Roll out the dough to an 11 inch circle. Brush the top evenly with the olive oil, then sprinkle half of each of the spices and herb (1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes). Then sprinkle the feta cheese over top.
3. Fold 1/2 inch of the outer edge of dough inward to make form a crust. Layer the squash and zucchini slices in random order on the dough, then layer the tomato slices over top of them, and sprinkle on the remaining spices and herb evenly. Evenly disperse the parmesan cheese around, then bake the crostata for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown and the vegetables are tender.
4. Cool the crostata for 10 minutes, then slice and serve. ENJOY!