Zucchini, Basil, and Fontina Quichelets


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Let's Do Brunch

Let's Do Brunch

By Brigit Binns

Published 2013

  • About


For the Pastry Dough

  • cups ( oz/200 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 7 Tbsp ( oz/105 g) very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 5 Tbsp (3 fl oz/80 ml) ice water, or as needed
  • 2 small zucchini, about 7 oz (220 g), trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup (2 oz/60 g) shredded fontina cheese


To make the dough, in a food processor, stir together the flour and salt. Scatter the butter over the top and pulse for a few seconds, or just until the butter is slightly broken up into the flour but is still in visible pieces. Evenly sprinkle the ice water over the flour, then process just until the mixture starts to come together, adding more ice water, 1 tsp or so at a time, if the mixture seems too crumbly. Transfer the dough to a large resealable plastic bag and press into a flat disk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Have ready four -inch (11.5-cm) tartlet pans with removable bottoms.

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. On a floured work surface, roll each piece into a round about 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. Line each pan with a round of dough. As you finish each one, put it in the freezer so it stays cold. Line each tart shell with aluminum foil and then fill with pie weights or dried beans. Put the shells on a baking sheet and bake until the dough is set and starting to dry out, about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and continue to bake until the crusts look dry, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C).

Meanwhile, shred the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater-shredder onto paper towels. Spread out the shreds and sprinkle with a little salt. Let stand for about 20 minutes. Using paper towels, blot the zucchini as dry as possible. Divide the shredded zucchini among the tartlet shells. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among the pans, pouring it over the zucchini. Sprinkle with the cheese.

Bake until the filling is set and the tops are lightly golden, about 25 minutes. If you want to get the cheese extra bubbly and brown, slide the quichelets in the broiler for 1 minute. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with

Small sausage links continue the theme of individual portions. Offer Amalfi Lemonade for a tart and refreshing cooler. For the fruit element of this light but satisfying menu, choose ripe berries in season and let them stand, unembellished.

Easy Variation

You can turn this recipe into a large quiche by lining a 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan with the dough and partially baking as directed in the recipe. Add the entire amount of filling to the partially baked crust and bake as directed. It might take a few more minutes to finish baking.

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