Baking & Pastries/ Dinner/ Lunch/ Oven dishes/ Vegetarian

Courgette, Ricotta & Lemon Zest Pie in a Parmesan Crust with Smoked Salmon

5 August 2020

Courgette, ricotta and lemon zest pie in a parmesan shortcrust served with warm smoked salmon flakes and a simple tomato salad.

A long sentence for a simple dish! I used half the courgette you see in the images for this. I ribboned the courgette until the soft core, which I chopped up into small pieces to sauté later on for the filling. But you can also use a whole normal courgette for this.

The parmesan shortcrust pastry I made a few weeks ago as well. Inspired by a recipe from @donnahay. The changes I made: add some finely chopped rosemary and blind bake for 15 minutes at 200 C before adding the filling.

Courgette, Ricotta & Lemon Zest Pie in a Parmesan Crust with Smoked Salmon

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Dinner, lunch
By Saffron & Donna Hay Serves: 4


  • Shortcrust Parmesan Pastry
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (80g) finely grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 150g cold butter, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp cold milk
  • Pie filling
  • 2 Courgettes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 250 g ricotta
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 handfuls grated cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 handful chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • Sides (optional)
  • 3-4 good qaulity tomatoes
  • 2 filets oven smoked salmon
  • Extra needed
  • 2 sheets non stick baking paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Blind baking beans


The pastry (recipe by Donna Hay)


Preheat oven to 180ºC.


Place the flour, cheese, rosemary, butter and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 1–2 minutes or until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.


Add the egg and milk and blend for 2 minutes or until a smooth dough forms.


Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Roll half the pastry out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to 3mm-thick.


Line a 31cm-round lightly greased pie tin with the pastry.


Place a piece of baking paper in the pie tin and add the baking beans (see tip below).


Blind bake for 15 minutes.

Make the filling


Prepare the courgette by cutting in half and scooping out the middle. Set this aside.


Ribbon the rest of the courgette with a mandolin, a vegetable peeler or a cheese slicer like I did (see tip below).


Add the chopped core of the courgette and fry for a few minutes until starting to caramelize. Season with pepper and salt and set aside.


In the meantime in a big bowl mix 250 grams of ricotta with 3 eggs, 3 handfuls of grated cheese, zest of 1 lemon, chopped parsley and a handful of pine nuts, then add the courgette onion mix.


Pour the filling into the blind baked pastry and top with the courgette ribbons.


Bake at 200°C for 30 minutes until the filling has set and the courgette starting to brown.

To serve


I served it with a simple tomato salad and some flaked oven smoked salmon over the top, but you can leave this out if keeping it vegetarian.



I used rice for blind baking because I didn't have beans. Blind baking is optional by the way, Donna Hay doesn't do it in her recipe, I just like it when the crust is a bit crunchier.


Slicing the courgette in ribbons is optional, it looks all pretty and fancy laid out in a circle, but it will taste just as good with just simply sliced courgette. So if you don't feel like the hassle then just slice the courgette into 3 mm slices and mix them with the ricotta filling.

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