Do Yourself A Favour And Make This Veggie-Packed, Vegan 'Ricotta', Zucchini & Herb Tart
Fancy-looking dinner for a Friday night in?
Whether you’re totally vegan or simply trying to cut down on dairy, this ‘ricotta’ and zucchini tart is sure to trick your taste buds. Nutritional yeast is the key ingredient responsible for that delicious ‘cheesy’ taste and what’s better is that it’s packed full of veggies and fragrant herbs. Keep scrolling for the recipe by food blogger and recipe developer, Georgia McDermott, better knowns as @georgeats, and impress your friends next time they’re over for dinner!
‘RICOTTA’, ZUCCHINI & HERB TART
For the tart crust:
2 cups almond meal (200g)
1 cup tapioca flour (130g)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 1/2-2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
4 tablespoons vegan butter (80g) (I used Nuttelex Buttery)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ice water, if you need it
For the ‘ricotta’ filling:
300g firm tofu
4-6 tablespoons nutritional yeast (this is FULLY responsible for the cheesy taste, I would not recommend omitting)
4 tablespoons plant milk of choice (I used soy milk)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
Chilli flakes, to taste
1 teaspoon sea salt (adjust to taste)
1 bunch of mint
1 bunch of dill
3-5 zucchinis/courgettes, depending on how big they are (buy more than you think you’ll need, I learnt that lesson for you) mandolined lengthways or extremely finely cut – a mandoline makes a world of difference here because the thinner the strips are, the bendier they are and easier to shape.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Combine all the ingredients for the crust in your food processor (EXCEPT for the ice water) and process on a low-medium speed until just combined. The dough should be in little balls but easily able to be gathered up into your hand. If not, add a teaspoon at a time of ice water until it achieves that consistency.
Wrap it up (bees wax wraps are brilliant for this and for the earth just FYI yes I’m turning ‘hippie’) and place it into the fridge to firm up.
Spray a 24cm in diameter springform fluted tart tin with olive oil, and gently press the tart dough into the tin. Repair any little tears with your hands, and don’t worry if the dough doesn’t come all the way up the edges of the tin – just press the edge tops flat so they look presentable.
Prick lots of little holes in the base of the tart with a fork, to let the air escape. Place it on a tray (this makes it easier to take out of the oven without crushing the tart edges) and pop into the oven for 10 minutes.
While the base is cooking, throw everything for the ‘ricotta’ (except for the herbs and capers) into the food processor (no need to clean it after the crust really) and process it until it forms a thick, ricotta looking paste.
Add the herbs and capers, and process a little more. Adjust for taste (the bonus of no eggs) and add a bit more nutmeg or chilli if you can taste tofu and don’t wanna. You could also add some dried herbs, although I don’t overly condone that unless you’re up against a tofu hater.
Gently spoon the tofu mixture into the tart base and smooth it out – I find it easiest to pat it down using my hands.
Chop your zucchini slices in half lengthways so they are thin enough to be pressed into the tart. Originally I would begin from the centre and work out, but the last few times I’ve started laying the slices around the edges and working in. Both work.
Begin pressing the zucchini slices, green side up, into the ‘ricotta’ and as tightly packed as you can. If you’re having trouble getting the slices to sit well in the tart, either trim some of the white flesh off so they’re shorter, or scoop out a little tofu and set aside for a dip style snack. I promise it’s delish.
Continue layering the zucchini in circles until you have covered the entire tart. If my instructions are terrible and you’re feeling overwhelmed, there are some great vids online.
Give the top of the tart a generous spray with olive oil, still on the oven tray, and back into the oven for 40 minutes, or until the zucchini is cooked. Slice and serve.
Georgia is a 26 year old recipe developer, food photographer, stylist and cookbook author living in Fitzroy, Melbourne. She develops gluten free, pescetarian and FODMAP friendly recipes, mainly as an excuse to buy halloumi in bulk.