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Zucchini and Apricot Socca Tart from 'The French Market Cookbook'

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A quick, colorful tart featuring apricot compote, fresh zucchini, and a chickpea flour shell. [Photograph: Fran├žoise Nicol]

This quick, colorful tart from Clotilde Dusoulier's new book, The French Market Cookbook, is yet another brand new taste experience. Much like the seaweed tartare I made earlier this week, I would never have thought to layer raw zucchini on a chickpea flour tart shell with apricot compote and serve it as an appetizer. But now that I've had it, I'll be trying twists on this dish for many seasons to come. I could picture long carrot peels atop a thin smear of goat cheese and pesto, or paper-thin butternut squash layered on pear butter. Most anything would work on this gluten-free socca tart shell. The chickpea flour is rich and nutty, the batter just a bit smoky from the cumin seeds, and the shell tender enough to meld with the compote and vegetables.

Why I picked this recipe: I was intrigued by the idea of combining raw zucchini, apricots, and chickpea flour.

What worked: The socca tart shell was remarkably simple to put together (easily the quickest and least messy tart crust I've ever made) and its nutty flavor balanced the grassiness of the squash and sweet-tart apricots.

What didn't: Not a problem in sight.

Suggested tweaks: If you have a lower broiler drawer, you'll need to modify the cooking directions just a bit. Let the crust cook in the oven for a couple of extra minutes to completely cook through before sending it under the broiler for a minute or so. It will burn if you leave it in the broiler for the full 10 minutes.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The French Market Cookbook to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American and Berkeleyside NOSH, and she blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.

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