The Food Philosopher: Gluten-Free Recipes, Health and Nutrition, Diet and Weight Loss




Savory Harvest Tart

leisurely weekend lunch, this savory tart is flavorful and delicious. It's a great way to showcase some of that freshly picked zucchini you bought at the farmer's market. Our traditional pie crust and easy-to-make filling are topped with artfully arranged concentric circles of zucchini. It's a food masterpiece you can happily carry to your table.

Food Philosopher’s® Gluten–Free


Makes one 9-inch tart

One unbaked Traditional Pie Crust (recipe below) in a metal 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups (about ¾ pound) thinly sliced zucchini
1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1 package (5.2 oz.) Boursin cheese (or a similar soft, herb-flavored cheese)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ cup freshly-grated Parmesan, separated
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Position rack in center of oven and parbake tart crust for 15 minutes. Remove tart crust from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  2. Heat olive oil in large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini slices and sauté until they are tender and very light golden (about 10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside in a small bowl.
  3. Combine ricotta, Boursin, eggs, heavy cream and ¼ cup Parmesan in a medium sized bowl and mix well. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Pour into the parbaked tart crust. Top with concentric circles of sliced zucchini and sprinkle remaining ¼ cup Parmesan over the top.
  4. Bake in center of oven for 45-50 minutes until puffed and set. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Place pan on top of a broad glass and carefully push down sides. Place tart on a serving plate (it will be easier to slide it off the metal bottom when it is very cool). Serve at room temperature or slightly warm.

Tart can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days (cover tightly with plastic wrap); bring to room temperature or warm slightly in the microwave.

©2010 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts

Food Philosopher’s® Gluten–Free


This is a really good pie crust, perhaps even better than those made with wheat. It stands up well to fruit fillings, custards, and even lemon meringue. It is probably the only pie crust you will ever eat that is as good the second day as it is the first. It is easy to make in a mixer—no messy hands or time-consuming pastry cutters. You will become a pie-crust-making phenomenon in your own home. When you make the Traditional Pie Crust, be sure to use the sweet rice flour called for in the recipe. It will help give you a great crust (we recommend Authentic Foods® sweet rice flour.)

Makes one 8- or 9-inch pie crust or one 9- or 10-inch tart crust.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Brown Rice Flour Mix*
2 tablespoons sweet rice flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 large egg
2 teaspoons orange juice or lemon juice

*see “Gluten–Free Flour Mixes” in our Recipe Archive

  1. Spray 9-inch pie pan or tart pan (with removable bottom) with cooking spray. Generously dust with rice flour.
  2. Mix flours, sugar, xanthan gum, and salt in large bowl of electric mixer. Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.
  3. Add egg and orange juice. Mix on low speed until dough holds together; it should not be sticky. Form dough into a ball, using your hands, and place on a sheet of wax paper. Top with a second sheet of wax paper and flatten dough to 1-inch thickness. Dough can be frozen at this point for up to 1 month; wrap in plastic wrap and then use foil as an outer wrap.
  4. Roll out dough between the 2 sheets of wax paper. If dough seems tacky, refrigerate for 15 minutes before proceeding. Remove top sheet of wax paper and invert dough into pie/tart pan. Remove remaining sheet of wax paper, and crimp edges for single-crust pie. Dough can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 month; line pie shell with wax paper, wrap in plastic wrap, and use foil as an outer wrap.

Take note: When you prebake or parbake this crust, do so at a lower temperature than is commonly used for pie crusts made with wheat (see directions below). This is to make sure the dough cooks before it browns. If you notice the crust rising in the middle while it is baking, open the oven quickly and prick it once with the point of a sharp knife or press the crust down lightly. Partially bake this pie crust whenever you are making a fruit pie or quiche.

To partially bake (parbake) a bottom pie crust: Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake pastry for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Fill and bake as per recipe.

To prebake a bottom pie crust: Preheat oven to 375°F. Gently prick pastry in 3 or 4 places with a fork. Bake pastry for about 25 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Prebaked pie shells can be stored in airtight plastic containers or plastic wrap in refrigerator for 3 days. For longer storage, wrap in plastic wrap and then in foil, and store in freezer for up to 2 weeks.

©2010 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts