Zucchini Rosette Tart

Only 2 recipes left here in my official Zucchini Week here on Baking with Blondie! I tried my best to stick to savory-only recipes, and think more outside of the zucchini-muffin/bread box. ;) This last one is a recipe that's a little more on the let's-fancy-up-the-zucchini side of life. It was amazing!!! The crust is flaky puff pastry dough, and the zucchini are all wrapped up in pretty roses on a bed of soft ricotta and mozzarella. These would make a perfect side dish or even appetizer for any Italian dish you have planned for dinner. Let's dive right into these beauties! 

First, you need to have some lovely puff pastry dough. It's perfectly soft, flakes up beautifully in the oven and puffs up like nobody's business. And when I say puffs up, I mean it's NUTS how much this stuff can go from perfectly flat, to a good 4 inches in height by the time it leaves the oven. Which is why it's important to remember: when making these tarts, place a liner of parchment paper on TOP of the dough with some dried grains/beans on top to keep the centers of the pastry from puffing up too much. You need that little rectangle pocket in the middle for the soft ricotta/mozzarella filling and zucchini rosettes. 

Originally, I wanted to make this tart in a circle tart pan with the fluted edges, but I seriously could not find one anywhere (are they just old school, now?), so I settled on using three rectangular bread pans. I love how they turned out, and the shape made it easier to slice into little serving sizes without disturbing the rosettes too much. Also, trying to get a rectangular puff pastry dough slab into a circle didn't sound like very fun. Instead, I sliced the dough into three parts and easily placed them into three bread pans. Done and done! 

After a pre-bake, I let the puff pastry crust cool while I made the filling. The filling is killer! It's almost exactly the kind of filling I use in my lasagna or manicotti. Lots of ricotta, mozzarella, little bit of egg, and some seasonings to take it straight on home. I used fresh oregano from my sister-in-law's garden, and it really made a huge difference in the overall flavor. So incredibly yummy! 

After spreading the filling over the tart, I started on my rosettes. To make the rosettes, I first tried using a mandolin (which I am deathly afraid of because they were created by Satan to slice my hands off, I'm sure of it), and the sliced ended up being a bit too thick for what we needed to do here with the rosettes. So I switched to using a veggie peeler and it worked like a charm! I peeled a few zucchini with the veggie peeler and then microwaved the slices for about 30 seconds to make them a bit easier to work with. Using one or two slices of zucchini per rosette, I started off very small, then wrapped them a little bigger with each slice. One or two zucchini slices made the perfect size for each rosette. After rolling them up, I sliced them in half with a knife to make two rosettes per roll. After placing them carefully on the prepared tarts, I baked them again in the preheated oven. 

They came out gorgeous! I loved how these turned out, but most of all, I LOVED how they tasted! Seriously so incredible. The crust was flaky, but held everything together very well. The filling was soft, but not overpowering, and the zucchini rosettes stole the show with how evenly cooked they were and perfectly seasoned. It all tied together wonderfully, and I seriously cant wait to make these again! Hope you enjoy them as much as we did! :) 

Make sure to come back tomorrow for one more zucchini recipe to finish off Zucchini Week - it's definitely one of my favorites! 

 Zucchini Rosette Tart 
makes 8 servings

1 package puff pastry dough (freezer dessert section)
4-5 small/medium zucchini, sliced into ribbons
15oz ricotta cheese
1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 C parmesan cheese
pinch of nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 t garlic powder
1 T fresh oregano
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. To make the base, unfold the puff pastry sheet on a cutting board, then slice the pastry into three equal sections (for three bread pans). Place three pieces in the bottom of three pans, then place a rectangular piece of parchment paper on top and in the center of each one. Add some kind of weight to keep the dough in the center down while baking (dry beans, etc). Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and weights and let cool. 
3. In the meantime, prepare the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, nutmeg, eggs, garlic powder, oregano, and salt and pepper until smooth. 
4. Spread the cheese mixture in the centers of the three baked tarts, leaving a little edge on the outsides. 
5. Make the zucchini rosettes: microwave the zucchini slices for about 30 seconds - this makes them easier to work with. With your hands, roll a zucchini ribbon into a tube, then roll another one around it. Slice the rolled tube in half and place each rosette (sliced side down) on the prepared tarts. Repeat until the cheese layer is completely covered in rosettes. Spritz with a little olive oil cooking spray and bake for 50 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy! 

Recipe inspired and adapted by: Buonapappa

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