Monday, July 12, 2010
Zucchini Tart (Scarpaccia)
8 ounces young zucchini, thinly sliced
4 ounces white or sweet onion, thinly sliced
5 ounces (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups milk
1/4 cup olive oil
zucchini blossoms, up to 8 ounces, roughly shredded by hand, (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
Place the zucchini slices and onions in a colander and liberally sprinkle with salt. Let them stand and drain for 30 minutes. Pat them dry a bit or spin them in a salad spinner.
Preheat the oven to 450F. Whisk together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, milk, olive oil, and egg to make a batter. Stir in the drained zucchini and onions and the blossoms if using them.
Oil 2 round metal pans, I use 12-inch pizza pans but 10- to 11-inch metal pie tins should work also. (Perhaps one 13 x 18-inch jellyroll pan would work also, but I haven't tried it). Use about 2 tablespoons of oil in each pan. Divide the batter between the two pans, using you fingers to distribute the zucchini and blossoms around the pan, pushing them down so that they don't protrude too much. Grind a generous amount of black pepper over the top.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the width of the pans, then reduce the heat to 425F and bake another 8 to 15 minutes, until deep golden, crisp around the edges and set in the center. Grind more pepper over the top, remove from the pan and cut into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: I've seen versions of the recipe that use water instead of milk, or use the water extracted from the zucchini (don't add extra salt), and some versions add grated parmigiano to the batter, other versions add chopped garlic to the batter, others use baby onions, and yet other versions add thyme to the batter. And there's a sweet version that omits the alliums. Experiment and make the recipe your own!