Zucchini Polenta Tart

This one comes from one of my favorite food blogs, Chocolate & Zucchini, created by Clotilde Dusoulier.  Although there is no chocolate in this recipe, it is a delicious way to use by a couple of pounds of zucchini. You can read the original recipe here. — Jason Adams

{Recipe after the jump.}


  • 2 pounds zucchini
    1 cup polenta  – stone ground cornmeal
  • 1 oz dried mushrooms – chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • Olive oil
  • Herbs de Provence (or a mix of dried thyme, basil, oregano, and rosemary)
  • Salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

I cook polenta using the “no stir” method.

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add ½ teaspoon salt and the dried mushrooms.

Whisking all the time, slowly pour the cornmeal into the boiling water until it is all incorporated.

Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.

Every five minutes, for a total of thirty minutes, remove the cover and with a long-handled spoon, stir the polenta.

You are bound to get a little stuck to the bottom, don’t worry about it.  After thirty minutes the polenta will be done.

Turn the cooked polenta out into a greased (even if its non-stick) spring-form pan.

Even out the top of the polenta with the back of a spoon.

While the polenta cooks, rinse the zucchini, trim the ends, and slice thinly, preferably using a mandoline.

Heat a little olive oil in a large pan, add in the zucchini slices, sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence, and toss to coat.

Put the lid on, and cook on low heat for about 20 – 25 minutes, until the zucchini is just cooked but not so much that it falls apart.

Stir gently from time to time while it cooks to make sure all the slices cook evenly, but make sure not to turn them to mush.

If there is a lot of liquid in the pan transfer the zucchini to a colander and leave to drain.

Put the polenta into the oven for about 15 minutes, until the top turns crusty and golden.

Remove from the oven and remove the sides of the spring-form pan (which will be screaming hot).

Put the disk of polenta, still sitting on the bottom of the pan, on a cookie sheet, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes, until the sides are also crusty and golden.

Remove from the oven.

Flip the disk of polenta (the not-yet-crispy side will face upwards, the crispy side downwards), remove the bottom of the pan (another screaming hot item) and return to the oven for a final 10 to 15 minutes, until the disk of polenta is crisp all over.

Remove from the oven, and arrange the zucchini slices harmoniously over the top of the polenta disk.

Return into the oven for about 10 minutes, top with parmesan, cut into slices and serve — warm, at room temperature or cold.

For a wine pairing I have been cooking with, and drinking the rest of, Vermentino’s from Italy.  The perfect paring for a summer lunch.


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