Heirloom Tomato Zucchini Crostata

This recipe is my favorite go-to appetizer. It’s easy to make, it can be made in advance, and it’s impressive. Between the buttery dough and the fresh vegetables & herbs, the flavors are hard to resist. There are almost never any leftovers when I serve this at a party.  It can be served as one big piece, or you can pre-cut individual bites, as also pictured below.

While I do often serve this as an appetizer, it is also a delicious lunch. Think of it as a rustic summer vegetable pie. Serve along with a fresh, simple green salad.

Other combos that are tasty in this dish are Goat Cheese & Basil, Mozzarella & Oregano, Gruyere & Thyme, Gorgonzola & Tarragon, and Mozzarella & Basil.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Refrigerator Pie Crusts, such as Pillsbury (2 come in a box)
  • 1 Egg White, beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced (red & yellow)
  • 1 Zucchini, large, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Feta or Parmesan Cheese, crumbled
  • Sprigs of Fresh Thyme leaves
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Defrost the pie dough, and when soft enough, carefully unroll the pie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (do not use tinfoil as the dough will stick to it).

While the dough is defrosting, sauté the sliced onions over medium-high heat in a saucepan with butter and olive oil. Sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are soft & caramelized, about 15 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

Spread the pie dough with dijon mustard, leaving a 1-inch boarder of plain pie crust all around the edge (you will need to fold up the edges). Do not skip this key ingredient! The zip of the Dijon really enhances the depth of flavor in this dish. Next, pour the sautéed sliced onions evenly onto the mustard-covered dough (not on the plain-dough border).

Thinly slice the zucchini and tomatoes. First lay the zucchini on top of the onions, creating a layered rows. Next, place the tomatoes on top of the zucchini rows in an artful way, covering most of the zucchinis. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on the cheese & fresh herbs, and then season with salt and pepper.

Fold up the edges of the crostata, creating an elevated edge around the vegetables. Brush the folded edges with the egg white to enhance the browning of the dough.

Bake the crostata for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the vegetables are soft. When out of the oven, you can sprinkle additional fresh herbs on top of the crostata, if desired. Serve hot or room temperature.

This dish can be made in advance, and reheated before serving.

*Note for Individual Bite-Size Crostatas: Brush the dough with egg white before slicing into little rounds. You can use a 1-2 inch round cookie cutter, or a shot glass to cut the dough. For the tomatoes, replace the large heirloom tomatoes with cherry tomatoes.

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