I am so happy that I discovered this recipe at the beginning of the summer season. Zucchini is definitely coming into its own and this dish is the perfect starter to any meal or a tasty light lunch served with a green salad. I’m sort of surprised that I haven’t tried this before now. It comes from one of my favorite cookbooks-Italy In Small Bites by Carol Field who is also the author of another of my go to cookbooks-The Italian Baker. Th recipe originally comes from the towns of Viareggio and Camaiore on the coast of Tuscany.
I followed the recipe exactly as it was written and we loved it. It was even delicious a day later warmed up as leftovers. This savory tart is very light and yet creamy with just the right amount of zucchini. I happened to have zucchini blossoms out in my garden and so I threw them in too. I don’t want to sound repetitive, but I loved this and will probably make it again this week. Give it a go! You won’t be disappointed.
Scarpaccia Viareggina Savory Zucchini Tart
8 ounces young zucchini, finely sliced
1 medium-size white onion, finely diced
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/3 cups milk or water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 egg [optional]
8 ounces zucchini blossoms, roughly sliced [optional]
abundant freshly ground pepper
Salt the zucchini and onions, and leave them to drain in a colander for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Sift the flour and sea salt together. Whisk in the milk or water, then 1/4 cup of the olive oil, to make a batter that is quite liquid. Whisk in the egg, if you are using it. Stir in the zucchini, the flowers if you are using them, and the onions.
Use two 10- or 11-inch metal pie pans. Pour two tablespoons of the remaining oil in each pan, rubbing a little on the sides to prevent the scarpaccia from sticking. Divide the batter between the two pans, pouring it into a depth no greater than 1/4 inch. Smooth the top to prevent the zucchini slices from protruding from the batter. Grind a substantial amount of pepper over each one.
Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 425 F. and continue baking for 8 to 15 minutes, until deep golden. Grate more pepper over the top, cut in wedges, and serve warm or at room temperature.