Some of you know that Alex and I have a syndicated column in the Macon Telegraph, but if you didn’t know, now you do, and you can look for it on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month! We were so excited when we were approached with this opportunity and love contributing to local content in the Living & Entertainment section.
You can check out our first story on the Telegraph’s website here, and I’ve brought the copy to you here on our blog to enjoy. This first one originally ran on July 9, and Alex will post his first column (second for Bungalow Kitchen) tomorrow. Stay tuned for our next column next Wednesday, and thanks for all of the support and well wishes!
My husband Alex and I have been writing a food blog, Bungalow Kitchen, for over a year now, and one of our goals is to eat as seasonally as we can. There’s nothing better than a ruby red tomato in July or a butternut squash in November, and that’s because it’s in season. As Georgians, we are particularly lucky that we live in an area of the United States where farmers can grow produce year round due to our temperate climate, so we should most certainly take advantage of it. Alex and I will take turns sharing seasonal recipes with you, and as the seasons change, so will the featured ingredients.
If you have ever had too much zucchini and yellow squash hanging around your kitchen and you would like to do something other than squash casserole or roasted vegetables, this recipe is for you. Early summer is peak time for both of these squash varieties, and during this time you’ll notice that the colors of the vegetables get brighter and deeper. I encourage you to buy zucchini and yellow squash from your local farmers market, such as Mulberry Street Market on Wednesdays, from a local CSA (community supported agriculture) farmer such as The Dirt Farmers or Babe and Sage Farm, or even from a roadside vendor. The shapes and sizes of these varieties vary greatly from the farmer, but are more uniform at the grocery store.
While squash is a staple in Southern food because of its plentiful existence in our region, it’s not usually seen as a show stopper. This vegetable is usually hidden in a cream-of-something soup with crackers on the top in a forgotten side dish. I say it’s time to flip the switch and create a styled squash that’s fit for any backyard barbecue or summer cocktail party. This squash and zucchini savory tart is visually appealing and will impress your fellow partygoers with your innovative use of seasonal bounty and stylized presentation. Pro tip: it’s also very easy to make!
Squash and Zucchini Savory Tart
1 puff pastry sheet (I use Pepperidge Farm, check your grocer’s freezer)*
2 medium-sized zucchini
2 medium-sized yellow squash
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. soft goat cheese
6-8 fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper
*The night before you make the tart, place the puff pastry sheet in the refrigerator in its package to allow the sheet to thaw.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Sprinkle your countertop with a pinch of flour, then roll out the puff pastry with a rolling pin. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the rolled-out pastry sheet on the parchment paper. Create a crust by turning over the edges of the sheet about 1/2 inch, then crimp the edges with the tines of a fork to seal the crust. Lightly cut a few lines in the pastry sheet, but not all the way through. This creates a vent for the pastry so that its will not puff up too much in the middle. Bake for about 8 minutes, then remove from the oven.
While the puff pastry is baking, Cut off the ends of the squash and zucchini, then halve them lengthwise. Now thinly slice each into half moons and set aside.
Now that the puff pastry is out of the oven, create five alternating columns of vegetables: zucchini, squash, zucchini, squash, zucchini. Now create another row, this time changing the order so that the column that started with a squash has a piece of zucchini. Follow this pattern and complete each column. Be sure to overlap the squash and zucchini, but allow each bright green or bright yellow edge to be seen. When all of the columns are complete, lightly sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper. Place in the hot oven for about 5 minutes.
Take the pastry out of the oven and turn on the broiler. Evenly arrange the goat cheese in large sections over the pastry and place under the broiler for about 4 minutes. While the cheese is slightly melting, stack up all of the basil leaves, roll them tightly like a cigar, then thinly slice them into ribbons. This method is called chiffonade, and it’s an easy and beautiful way to use herbs for garnish. When the 4 minutes are up, take the pastry out of the oven, remove the cookie sheet and parchment paper, and top it with the basil ribbons. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then cut into squares.
Alex and Eleta Morrison live in Macon and write a food blog, Bungalow Kitchen. Like their page on Facebook for updates and visit their blog at bungalowkitchen.wordpress.com. Alex and Eleta can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.