I distinctly remember walking with my mom up and down our garden rows throughout my childhood. I used to dream I was Laura Ingalls swishing my long skirts, scavenged from yard sales, imagining life on the prairie. We always had rows of broccoli, snap peas, lettuce and squash of all colors, and when the zucchini was ready to harvest we could count on a zucchini quiche for dinner. A vegetarian dish that no one in our meat and potatoes family skipped out on. I may have given up some of my prairie living dreams but I will never grow out of cheesy, buttery, zucchini dishes. Though I have made some amendments to the dishes of my childhood, incorporating new dreams of salmon fishing and harvesting a garden of my own, they all come from the same start.
Zucchini Salmon Tart
1 large or 2 medium zucchini
1 skinless sockeye salmon fillet
1 pie crust (more on this to come…)
1/2 large onion
2 Tbsp butter
a few stalks of Italian flat leaf parsley and oregano
a small handful of basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
8-10 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
a few tsp of you favorite mustard
a few pinches of sea salt
several cracks of pepper
a few pinches of smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a 9″ pie dish, spring form pan, or tart pan with your crust, now what kind of crust you ultimately choose to use is your prerogative but in this instance, and I’m being serious here, I always use crescent roll dough. Yes, the kind in the tube. I know, I know, not exactly the most sophisticated crust but it’s buttery and flaky and delicious and well I just like it in the recipe. If you decide you are above my preferred crust method, I recommend par baking a regular pie crust for about 10 minutes prior to filling. Before filling the crust smear a coating of mustard in the bottom of the crust. I like to use a stone ground mustard or a white wine dijon for this tart.
Skin and cube your salmon fillet into small 1/2 inch chunks toss in a bowl with 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and a sprinkle of salt turned in, set aside. Quarter your zucchini lengthwise then slice thinly, chop the onion and sauté both in butter over medium heat until the onion is translucent and the zucchini is tender. Stir in your herbs, salt and pepper and remove from heat. Turn in your salmon and garlic mixture, you’ll notice right away your fish turning lighter in shade. Fish cooks so quickly that the residual heat from the zucchini and the subsequent baking are all it will need to cook.
Scoop your salmon and zucchini mixture into your crust, leaving the excess juice in the pan. Beat your two eggs, mix well with cheese and spread evenly over the the top of the tart filling. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and bake for 45 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbling. Keep an eye on the tart while baking, if the crust is darkening too quickly cover the edges with foil or a pie crust shield.
After baking, let tart stand 10-15 minutes before slicing to allow the filling to set. Serve hot with a salad and a crisp cold white wine!