There is this window during the summer months when my vegetable consumption basically quadrupled. I eat heirloom tomatoes Every day my salads are filled to the brim with fresh greenery from the market, and the basil becomes more filling. To celebrate the end of the golden hour, I wanted to create something that really lets the produce of the season shine and takes center stage on a plate. Of course the only way I really know how to celebrate anything is through food, so I took a trip to our weekend farmers market, bought some of my favorite veggies (all bright and colorful), and came back. home to make what might be the easiest yet most impressive dinner table centerpiece I could think of. Serve this vegetable tart with a simple salad and you could win an award for best summer food yet.
While tomatoes certainly get the most attention this time of year (hello, heirlooms!) I really wanted to use some of the other gems of the season. We’re still getting a lot of great asparagus here in Chicago, and this is the time of year for some. zucchini and squash too. Along with some peas and radishes, these veggies are a host of flavors that work great together while combining a wide variety of textures to create something delicious on this tart.
Now of course, I bet you’re wondering, what’s going on underneath that mess of veggies? Only the most delicious and spicy cheddar and ricotta filling.
While this cake may look fancy, it’s so easy to put together. The filling is made from ricotta, cheddar cheese, egg, garlic, lemon zest, and a little thyme. The cheddar cheese adds a nice touch to an otherwise smooth ricotta, and the garlic, lemon, and thyme just add their beautiful flavor to tie it all together.
I used a store bought cake batter for simplicity, but you can make your own entirely. DIY cake batter is super easy! Once you spread the filling over the crust, simply roll the edges of the dough and bake.
For the veggies, I actually steam them super quick in my steamer on the stove just to bring out a little more of their color and soften them up a bit, but you can leave them raw if you prefer. Top with some seasoning and lemon juice, and you’ve got summer on a plate!