About This Blog

This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.

Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...

Thank you and enjoy!

Zucchini Tart (Scarpaccia)

8 to 16 ounces young zucchini, thinly sliced (use a combination of zucchini and blossoms to total 16 oz.)
4 ounces white or sweet onion, thinly sliced
5 ounces (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups milk or water or a combination
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 egg
zucchini blossoms, up to 8 ounces, roughly shredded by hand, (optional, use all zucchini if you don't have blossoms)
freshly ground black pepper

Place the zucchini slices and onions in a colander and liberally sprinkle with salt. Let them stand and drain for 30 minutes. Pat them dry a bit or spin them in a salad spinner.

Preheat the oven to 450F. Whisk together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, milk, olive oil, and egg to make a batter. Stir in the drained zucchini and onions and the blossoms if using them.

Oil 2 round metal pans, I use 12-inch pizza pans but 10- to 11-inch metal pie tins should work also. (Lately I've been using an 11 X 17 inch rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper to make one large tart). Use about 2 tablespoons of oil in each pan. Divide the batter between the two pans, using you fingers to distribute the zucchini and blossoms around the pan, pushing them down so that they don't protrude too much. Grind a generous amount of black pepper over the top.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the width of the pans, then reduce the heat to 425F and bake another 8 to 15 minutes, until deep golden, crisp around the edges and set in the center. Grind more pepper over the top, remove from the pan and cut into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: I've seen versions of the recipe that use water instead of milk, or use the water extracted from the zucchini (don't add extra salt), and some versions add grated parmigiano to the batter, other versions add chopped garlic to the batter, others use baby onions, and yet other versions add thyme to the batter. And there's a sweet version that omits the alliums. Experiment and make the recipe your own!

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