Here’s the thing about this recipe. I served this courgette tart to a table of five people. Three of whom were bona fide courgette haters, myself included.
I’m either really crazy, or really confident. Take your pick.
And that is why this recipe is my entry for the Betta Living Vegetarian Recipe Competition. As much as I love an exotic vegetarian recipe with all kinds of obscure ingredients… sometimes you have to feed a crowd. And you need to feel confident.
It’s creamy and mild, whilst herby and flavourful. The ricotta and cream cheese base is soft and melty, without being too high in fat (I used virtually fat-free Quark for the cream cheese). Grating the courgette allows it to melt into the mixture, where it can add texture and a bit of flavour without being too controversial, though the peas stand out a little more.
The tart pictured here has 2 courgettes and 2 cups of peas. It’s a little chunkier this way. I have also made it with 3 courgettes and 1 cup of peas, and this made it deliciously smooth and creamy. If you have pea and courgette haters in the mix, I’d go with the second option.
It’s super easy to make, too. Sheets of store bought filo pastry makes an easy crust, and the filling comes together in one big bowl. Below the recipe card, there are step by step photos.
- 2 courgettes (zucchini), grated
- 250g / 9oz ricotta cheese
- 250g / 9oz fat free creamy cheese (I use Golden Acre Quark )
- 2 eggs
- 240g / 8.5oz / about 2 cups of frozen peas
- 4 large sheets of filo pastry (I use JusRol brand) but yours may be different sizes so you'll want to make a call on that yourself
- 50g / 1.75oz cheddar cheese
- A few handful of fresh herbs. I like basil and chives for this but mint and parsley are great ideas too.
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A small vine of cherry tomatoes, for garnish (optional)
- First, mix the filling in a large bowl. Add the courgette and peas first, then the ricotta, cream cheese and eggs. Finally, add the grated cheddar, herbs, nutmeg and salt and pepper.
- Now for the filo crust. In a pie dish, lay out one sheet of filo with equal overhang on both sides. Now lay another sheet on top, in a criss-cross so that the whole dish is covered. Add another two layers. You should have a lot of overhang, going all around.
- Empty the filling into the dish and use a spoon to get it smooth and even.
- Take the pieces of filo overhang and bring them up to the sides. Scrunch them up as you place them on top of the filling, so that they aren't covering much of the middle. It will create a really pretty finish.
- Now bake in the oven for about 45 minutes at 165C / 330F.
- Let it sit for about 15 minutes when it comes out of the oven. This will help the filling to set.
- Meanwhile, if you are planning to add the tomato vine garnish, grill it under high heat for about 5 minutes on each side, and then place on top.