Torta di Zucchine = Zucchini Tart
by Cindi Sutter, Founder of The Spirited Table®
Zucchini is another vegetable that arrived in Europe with Columbus. In Liguria there is an expression in dialect, ese unn-a succa veua, which translates literally as “that’s an old squash,” a common way of referring to a slow-witted or foolish person. Yet zucchini (zucchine in Italian) are among the most popular vegetables in the region. Traditionally, the smallest possible zucchini are purchased for cooking. They have more flavor and less liquid. This torta is not like those in the bread chapter in that it is a crustless tart made in a glass ovenproof baking dish (12 inch round).
2 1/4 lb. small to medium zucchini, sliced very thin
1 medium onion, minced
10 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. Ligurian extravirgin olive oil
4 large eggs
2 1/4 cups cooked rice (it should be slightly chewy)
2 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 Tbsp. freshly minced Italian (flat) parsley
1 Tbsp. freshly minced marjoram
1 pinch fine sea salt
3 to 4 Tbsp. unflavored bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- After slicing the zucchini and onions, melt 8 Tbsp. butter and the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and sauté until transparent. Then add the zucchini, sauté just until the disks become soft, cover the pan, and turn off the heat. Let cool.
- In a large bowl beat the eggs, then add the rice, Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, marjoram, salt, and finally the zucchini mixture.
- Grease the baking dish with a little butter and add a thin coating of bread crumbs. Then add the egg-zucchini mixture and use a fork or spoon to make the filling level. Top with a thin layer of bread crumbs and curls made from the remaining butter.
- Bake for about 1 hour. Serve hot, tepid, or cold.