Zucchini tart with Gruyère and pesto can help use up garden bounty

We planted our vegetable garden last weekend: six tomato plants, two eggplants, two melons, two broccoli, two brussels sprouts, two cucumber, multiple herbs, and a plethora of peppers. Oh yeah, and one, single, solitary zucchini. Experience has taught me not to grow more than one zucchini plant. A couple of years ago I ended up with boatloads of extra zucchini that I had to foster parent until kindly neighbor folk stepped up and agreed to take them in. And let me tell you, they were giant babies! I couldn't keep up with the production volume, and thus, let some grow until they got a little out of hand. OK, more than a little.

One of the dishes I made from our homegrown, garden-fresh zucchini has been stuck in my head lately so I felt compelled to make it to celebrate the yield of veggies to come.

It's a zucchini tart with Gruyère cheese, pesto, eggs and herbs that could serve as a delicious lunch paired with a simple salad, but is also a fantastic suppertime side dish, especially for chicken or fish.

It's not difficult to make, and uses store-bought crescent roll dough as the base. How easy is that? Once your guests take a bite of the cheesy goodness, the succulent zucchini, the savory pesto and the buttery cheese, they'll think you slaved away for hours.

Now, you can certainly slice the zucchini with a regular old knife, however, using a mandolin makes the job go so much faster. Unlike a lot of gadgets, this is one kitchen tool I back completely.

All you do is run the zucchini, or whatever vegetable you're slicing, down the plane, and the blade slices off the appropriate sized piece.

And, if you're afraid that your fingertips will follow suit, there's a metal guard you can use to hold the food safely in place.

There's even a means of adjusting the thickness of the slices. What's more, if you're slicing a lot of onions, a mandolin is a godsend. No more tears because the job will be done before they've had a chance to kick in!

Becky Ejupi lives in Lake Zurich with her husband and two sons. She blogs about cooking, family and other things that strike her fancy at

Zucchini Tart with Gruyere and Pesto

Using a mandolin makes slicing the zucchini much easier. Becky Ejupi/
When making the filling, let it cool slightly before stirring in the beaten eggs and cheese. Becky Ejupi/
Spread your filling in the tart shell and sprinkle the top with a little extra grated cheese. Becky Ejupi/
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