Zucchini & Goat Cheese Tart

Zucchini & Goat Cheese Tart

I like to try out new recipes at least once before serving them a parties, so I tried this Ina Garten recipe, from her Make It Ahead cookbook, for Zeke and I for dinner a week before I served it to my Book Club. In the book, The Five Star Weekend, the hostess serves a Squash and Goat Cheese Tart with Mint, so I figured this Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart of Ina’s was close enough. I’ve never tried and Ina recipe I didn’t like, although some are better than others.

I made the recipe exactly as is, except for the fact I substituted the fresh thyme leaves with fresh mint leaves. While I usually use Pillsbury pie crusts in the red package, this tart dough – made with vinegar and ice water- was actually quite easy to make and it tasted delicious.

There are many upsides to this recipe:

1) You can make it ahead and bake at the last minute.

2) It looks beautiful, but isn’t hard to make. Your guests will be impressed!

3) It tastes delicious.

I tried to have a “Summery” meal for the Book Club and zucchini is definitely one of the “Vegetable Stars” of Summer (along with corn and tomatoes). While it says it serves 6, I cut it into smaller portions since we had Shrimp Salad and bread to go with it. It’s Summer until September 23rd, so enjoy these last couple weeks with this summery dish.

Zucchini & Goat Cheese Tart

Recipe by gleeguilfordCourse: EntreeCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, 1/2 diced

  • 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar

  • 5 tablespoons ice water

  • 1 1/2 pound zucchini, unpeeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick

  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided

  • 8 ounces plain creamy goat cheese at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest


  • Place flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt and the butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse 12 to 14 times, until butter is the size of a pea.
  • With the processor running, pour the vinegar and ice water through the ffed tube and continue to process and pulse until the dough just comes together.
  • Dump out on a floured board, form into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the zucchini in a colander set over a plate. Toss it with 2 teaspoons of salt and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Spread the zucchini out on a clean dish towel, roll it up and squeeze gently to remove some of the liquid.
  • Put the zucchini slices into a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • With a fork, mash together the goat cheese, thyme, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough out onto a floured board to a 11-inch circle and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Spread the dough with the goat cheese mixture, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
  • Lay the zucchini slices in tightly overlapping circles, starting at the very edge of the pastry. Continue overlapping circles of zucchini until the whole tart is covered.
  • Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Cut in wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.


  • Choose zucchini that have similar diameters so the slices will be uniform. Slice by hand or with a mandolin.
  • To Make It Ahead: Roll out the dough and assemble the tart. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Bake.
  • To make an 11-inch circle, roll the dough to 12 or 13 inches in diameter, fold in quarters and trim the edges with a sharp knife. When you unfold the pastry, it will be a circle.

Looking back at this recipe, it’s a lot of steps but the tart comes together quickly. You could make the dough the day before, assemble in the morning and bake right before serving, which is what I did for my Book Club Party. The other nice thing about this dish is you can serve it cold, hot or room temperature.

Up Next: Girl’s Weekend in the Keys

Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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