Originating in Tuscany, Scarpaccia is an easy Italian Zucchini Tart that isn’t really a tart at all. Requiring no pastry crust, thin slices of zucchini are bound together with a crepe-like batter and baked in a hot oven. From your oven the sheet pan emerges with tender layers of zucchini, beautifully crisped edges, and flavours of parmesan and garlic throughout. As an added bonus, Scarpaccia uses tons of zucchini and those arm-sized zucchinis are perfect for this.
I love zucchini any time of the year. Simmered in stews, tossed into tomato sauce, or grilled on the barbecue, slight overcooking brings out the zucchinis succulent and juicy texture. Grated zucchini is also the perfect addition to add moisture to baked goods. It might just be me, but I think I love zucchini baked goods even more than regular ones. Chocolate zucchini loaf anyone? So good!!
Finding giant zucchinis at markets, roadside farm stands, and neighbours’ gardens (hehe) is a sure sign summer is nearing it’s end. I love the challenge of this crazy abundance of one ingredient. You can only eat so much grilled zucchini, so I had to get creative. And this is how I found the easy Italian Zucchini Tart that is Scarpaccia.
I really recommend using a mandoline to make Scarpaccia. It makes getting thin, even slices of zucchini so easy and efficient. I’ve been using a Borner mandoline almost every night this summer to slice veggies. Making a cabbage slaw is so easy with a mandoline, not to mention the almost transparent slice of radish you can get. I don’t buy an excess of kitchen gadgets (I refuse to buy a stand mixer), but a mandoline has been invaluable in my kitchen this summer. I still have all my fingertips too, hehe. However, if you’re not ready to invest in a mandoline, a sharp knife and steady hand will get the job done.
Some Scarpaccia recipes will ask you to salt and drain the zucchini slices before coating in batter. I decided not to do this because the zucchinis I was using were already very mature and dry. The cornmeal in the better also does a good job of soaking up any excess moisture. If you’re using an extra large zucchini with fully developed seeds, definitely go ahead and deseed the zucchini before slicing.
While some might say Scarpaccia resembles an old shoe (it’s Italian namesake), I think it looks quite elegant – especially with the unbattered zucchini and tomatoes on top. It makes a lovely, light meal when paired with a salad. I enjoyed having it with a garlicky Caesar salad, but a green salad is a good option too. Scarpaccia would also make an excellent appetizer when sliced into small squares and served with the side salsa. I really recommend this flavourful zucchini tart, that’s so easy to prepare!
If the cooler weather has you in the mood for more baked and layered dishes, why not try:
Scarpaccia - Easy Italian Zucchini Tart
Thin slices of zucchini, baked in a savoury, crepe-like batter, Scarpaccia is a quick side dish typically made in Tuscany.
- 800 g zucchini (about 3-4 small zucchini, or 1 large)
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup 1% milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2-3 tbsp parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- sliced tomatoes (optional)
- 1 cup cubed zucchini**
- 1 ripe tomato, diced
- 1 tbsp fresh basil, sliced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp red wine vinegar
- pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Thinly slice zucchini (about 1/4" thick). Use a mandoline if possible to make even slices.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the flours and milk and whisk together until no lumps remain. Stir in half of the sliced green onions, all the minced garlic, salt, cracked pepper, and parmesan cheese.
Reserve about 16 slices of zucchini for decorating the top of the tart. Toss the remaining zucchini slices in the batter, making sure they are thoroughly coated.
Line a 15 x 10 x 1 inch (roughly) baking sheet with parchment paper, greasing the paper with a bit of olive oil. Arrange the battered zucchini slices evenly on the paper. Arrange reserved zucchini slices on top and add tomato slices (if using). Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the tart.
Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until the edges of the tart start to brown. I turned on convection bake for the last 10 minutes of baking, which helps with browning.
While the tart is cooking stir together all of the salsa ingredients.
Allow the tart to cool for a few minutes, transferring to a cutting board if desired. Slice into large squares and serve topped with salsa.
**I reserved the ends of the zucchini when I could no longer safely push them through the madonline, then cubed them for the salsa.