Porcine’s zucchini, pecorino and basil tart

A tasty, seasonal vegetarian recipe that’s perfect for entertaining.


1 sheet (375gm) frozen Carême puff pastry, thawed
9 thin, small zucchini (about 720gm), cut into 3cm lengths
Finely grated pecorino, to serve

Zucchini filling
125 ml (½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 white onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 thin, small zucchini (about 400gm), thinly sliced (see note)
150 ml dry white wine
100 gm pecorino, finely grated
1 egg, lightly whisked
30 gm fresh sourdough breadcrumbs

Zucchini and basil purée
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
4 thin, small zucchini (about 320gm), thinly sliced (see note)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed

Zucchini salad
Juice of 1 lemon
5 zucchini flowers, halved lengthways
3 small zucchini (about 320gm), thinly shaved
1 cup basil leaves (loosely packed)


  1. For filling, heat oil in a large deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until onion begins to soften. Add zucchini and wine; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until zucchini is broken down (30 minutes). Transfer to a bowl; stir in lemon juice and zest, and pecorino, then season to taste. Refrigerate until cooled (1 hour); then stir in egg and breadcrumbs and set aside.
  2. For purée, heat oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add zucchini, garlic and 100ml water and bring to the boil. Cover and cook, shaking pan occasionally until zucchini is just tender (5 minutes). Transfer to a bowl placed over an ice bath and stir continuously until zucchini mixture has cooled completely. Transfer to a blender with basil and blend until puréed; season to taste. Pass through a fine sieve and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Place a pizza stone or heavy-based oven tray in the oven and preheat to 180˚C fan-forced. Grease a 3cm-high, 20cm-diameter fluted, loose-bottomed tart tin. Line base and sides of tin with pastry pressing firmly to fit; trim excess pastry and discard. Dock base; freeze for 30 minutes. Remove pastry case from freezer and spread half of filling evenly over base. Position zucchini lengths standing upright in filling, leaving small gaps in between; fill gaps with remaining zucchini mixture, pushing down gently. Brush cut-sides of zucchini lengths with oil and season to taste. Cook tart on heated oven tray or pizza stone until pastry is golden and zucchini is tender (55-60 minutes); rest on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, for salad, place ingredients in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, season and toss to combine. Slice tart and divide among plates. Spoon over purée and scatter with pecorino; serve tart warm with zucchini salad on the side.

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