Nothing gets me out of bed faster on a summer Saturday than the farmers’ market. The thought of colorful, crisp, fragrant, and tender vegetables waiting to greet me under the white tents is simply irresistible. Last week’s visit yielded brilliant yellow and green squash (zucchini and pattypan), tall green stalks of uncured garlic, and piles of sugar snap peas—their little caps and tendrils still in place. With fresh farm eggs and chèvre from the cheesemonger and tarragon from my garden, I was ready to make this tart. Prepare the flaky pastry crust first, pressing it into a tart pan to chill while you prep the vegetables. A few words on uncured garlic: garlic in all its beautiful varieties— from Rocambole to Purple Stripes, Porcelains to Silverskins—comes to market in the summer with the green tops still fresh. Those green tops have a delicious mild garlic flavor that I love in this tart because they don’t overpower the other ingredients. Serve the finished tart hot or at room temperature with a little smear of Dijon mustard and a fresh lettuce salad.
FOR THE FLAKY PASTRY CRUST
- 1 9-inch x 1 1⁄4-inch tart pan
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1⁄4 sticks ice-cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk or cream
- 3 sprigs fresh tarragon, stems discarded, leaves minced to make 1 tablespoon
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion, diced to make 1⁄2 cup
- 2 to 3 baby zucchini, tops and bottoms discarded, sliced to make 1 1⁄2 cups
- 2 baby pattypan squash, tops discarded, sliced to make 1⁄2 cup
- 2 tablespoons green garlic stalks, diced or 1 tablespoon green onion
- 1⁄2 cup fresh peas shelled from sugar snap peas
- 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 1⁄2 cup fresh goat cheese (chèvre)
- 1⁄2 cup light cream
- 4 eggs, beaten
Sift flour and salt into a wide, shallow mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour and then use fingertips to lightly break up remaining pieces until mixture resembles damp sand with little bits of butter still visible. Sprinkle with tarragon leaves. Whisk egg with milk, stir with a fork into the flour/butter mixture until it begins to come together. Spread clean work surface with two overlapping pieces of plastic wrap to make a square. Scoop dough pieces and particles onto plastic. Pull four corners of plastic up and around the dough and press/knead through the plastic to form a ball. Spread plastic back into a square; pat and flatten dough into a disk. Cover with two more pieces of wrap to make a plastic square matching the bottom one. Roll dough out into a 10-inch circle with 1/8-inch thickness. Place plastic-wrapped dough circle on sheet pan; refrigerate for 20 minutes. Remove dough circle from fridge and discard top layer of plastic. Flip dough circle over and ease into tart pan; discard remaining plastic sheets. Gently press crust into pan. Prick all over with fork. Refrigerate while you make filling.
In skillet over low heat, cook onion in butter until soft, being careful not to brown. Add squash and chopped garlic tops. Continue cooking for about two minutes, gently stirring occasionally until squash is tender but not soft. Add peas, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove prepared tart shell from fridge. Crumble or dollop chèvre evenly over the crust. Top with squash mixture. In a small bowl, whisk together cream and eggs. Pour over squash to fill tart. Bake tart for 35 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is set. Remove from oven to cool before slicing.