Summer fest: Quinoa tart with baby zucchini & sun dried tomatoes dressing

I told you this summer would have been bubbling with events and ideas, so you should be prepared! Along with my Summer RoundUp, a real fun by now, a way to travel together with fellow foodies, here another intiative, the 3rd Summer Fest, a cross-blog food event celebrating peak harvest season.

How does it work? Each Wednesday for the rest of the summer and probably longer, a group of blogging friends will swap recipes and tips about the following harvest-fresh ingredients:

  • 28 July: cukesNzukes
  • 4 August: corn
  • 11 August: herbs, greens, and beans
  • 18 August: stone fruit
  • 25 August: tomatoes
  • more to come if we all want it!

A list of all attendees will be compiled every week, so you’ll be able to travel around and enjoy all gorgeous recipes.

summer fest 2010 logo

Why do I partecipate? Harvest-fresh ingredients, and I’ve said everything. Name a fresh ingredient, any freshly harvested  ingredient, and you’ll feel summer sun warming your skin, a firm and earth scented fruit in your hands, cicadas singing in the backgrounds… root your feet into Mother Earth and feel the power of buzzing Nature, that’s summer, and we have to celebrate her products!

As first recipe, I decided to use freshly harvested zucchini, coming directly from our vegetable garden. The idea was to create a light tart, made with quinoa flour, completely gluten free, with raw baby zucchini, so tender when just picked up, and a dressing made with sun dried tomatoes to enhance tastiness.

Ingredients to make the tart:

  • quinoa flour, 180 gr
  • extra virgin olive oil, 100 ml
  • egg, 1
  • cold water, 5 tablespoons
  • dried oregano, 1 teaspoon
  • salt, a pinch

Ingredients to fill the tart:

  • soft cheese, 220 gr
  • baby zucchini, 2

Ingredients to make the dressing:

  • sun dried tomatoes, a dozen
  • pine nuts, 50 gr
  • dried oregano, 1 tablespoon
  • garlic, 1 clove
  • parsley

In a bowl, add quinoa flour, extra virgin olive oil, salt, dried oregano and egg. Whisk together until crumbly. Pour the mixture into a greased mould (10 cm x 30 cm) and press with your hands on the bottom and sides of the moulds. Freeze for 1 hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake quinoa tart for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Now, let’s make the dressing. Chop sun dried tomatoes roughly and mix them in a bowl with enough extra virgin olive oil to cover them. Add pine nuts, one clove of garlic and parsley. Let it marinade for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, whip soft cheese with a few tablespoons of marinade from sun dried tomatoes bowl and a tablespoon of oregano. Slice baby zucchini thinly.

Assembly. Spread cheese mixture over quinoa tart. Line with thinly sliced zucchini and sprinkle with sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts dressing. Let it rest for 30 minutes to enhance flavours and serve.

Verdict: fresh & natural. Quinoa shell is crunchy and nutty, a perfect complement to fresh raw baby zucchini. Sun dried tomatoes give taste and character to the tart, withouth adding any salt. It’s a simphony of ingredients, well balanced between green and grassy zucchini, nutty quinoa flour and pine nuts and strong and mediterranean sun dried tomatoes, all tied up by soft cheese.

Now, grap your fork and visit all the partecipants to enjoy the best of summer (Thanks Margaret for the list)!

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  1. says

    Oh this looks lovely! I’ve never heard of quinoa flour, am very intrigued! Beautiful pics! Oh and I’m super impressed at how frequently you update your page these days! Where do you find the time?!


  2. says

    @ Anne: it’s only that I’m alone at home in this period, so I cook, shot, eat and share! ah ah! I’m like a ant, working hard now that I have time, before leving for holidays! Just visited your blog, the food photography workshop is super!

    @ Liana: actually, quinoa flour is quite difficult to find. You can buy it on e-shops, but it’s very expensive. I asked to my organic shop and they ground it for free. You can do it at home if you have a good grinder!


  3. says

    It is the funniest thing. All week long I have been eyeing a chair in my neighbour’s yard, thinking what food I can showcase on there…and here I see a beautiful picture with a chair as a prop…

    Love the rustic tart and the fresh ingredients make this tart so appealing!


  4. Michelle says

    This looks amazing! love working with quinoa flour . . . am anticipating getting home late tonight, but if I squeeze my eyes shut and pray in my head, maybe the tart fairy will have this waiting for me for dinner — would make my entire week!


  5. says

    Hi! So, I made this today and it was delicious, but I had a question about the crust. I am worried I did my conversions wrong because there seemed to be a LOT of oil. Also, you listed water in the ingredients, but did not include it in your instructions. I did add the 5T water and am wondering if that is what contributed, in some way, to how oily it seemed. Or maybe it was oily for you too?? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    It was delicious and I love this recipe. I just wanted to play around again and fix the oil issue.

    Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!


  6. says

    I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.


  7. says

    Love this recipe and your whole approach of cooking with the seasons! Wont be my last time on your blog – very much my taste :-) greets from Malta!


    Giulia Risposta:

    Thank you Nadine, happy to meet you here! Hugs from Tuscany!
    P.S. Malta! how wonderful! I would love to visit soon!



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