August 17th, 2010

Tomato-Zucchini Napoleon


Around this time each August, when tomatoes are at that wondrous peak of perfection—and production—Nashville’s One and Only Tomato Art Fest takes place.

Not only does it give us the chance to express our love of All Things Tomato, we also get to push ourselves creatively, with the beguiling fruit of the Nightshade family as our Muse.

For some, it manifests two-dimensionally: the Art and Invention Gallery displays tomato-inspired works created especially for the Fest.

For others, it is chance to strut your stuff; the fest is a tomato-directed costume party that rivals Halloween.

But for us local food activists, it means getting in the kitchen and baking up sweet and savory tomato goodies for the Everything Tomato Bake Sale. Proceeds from the sale go the Field of Greens Fund, which was founded to benefit farmers in our local foodshed who suffered damage from the Great May Floods.


For last years sale, I made this, and it sold so well that I knew I would make it again.

But I also like the challenge of coming up with something new for the sale. How best to combine my garden zucchinis, my surplus of fat ripe cherry tomatoes….


…and some beautiful fresh Greek Oregano and Summer Savory, grown by Arugula’s Star?

With these at hand, some Greek yogurt and goat cheese in my fridge, a roll of phyllo stashed in the freezer, a sunny-along-the-Aegean-Sea direction began to form.

Roasted Zucchini planks smeared with herb-laced goat cheese stacked with sliced tomatoes encased in phyllo: the result was a cross between a terrine and a napoleon.

It baked up beautifully, with sharp feta nose, bright acid tomato pop, and robust herbal notes that conjured the rocky coast of a Greek Isle. Sliced, it’s delicious for snacking, or served as a first course. I think it would be nice for brunch, too.

But, here’s a hot tip:
At the Everything Tomato Bake Sale, it was the First Thing to sell out.


Phyllo can be a little tricky to work with; thank goodness it is so forgiving.

Thaw your package in the refrigerator overnight before using.
Have all your ingredients organized and ready to assemble, including your brush and bowl of olive oil.
Work quickly, and don’t worry about piecing the Napoleon here and there. Layer over layer of phyllo will create the right shape, bring it all together.


1 roll Phyllo Dough (one of the two pkgs. in a box)
3 medium Zucchinis
1 medium Onion
3 medium Tomatoes, or 1 1/2 pts. Cherry Tomatoes
6 oz. Mild Goat Cheese
4 oz. Feta
6 oz. Greek Yogurt
several sprigs fresh Summer Savory
several sprigs fresh Oregano
1 Egg
Salt and Black Pepper
Olive Oil
1 terrine or Loaf pan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice zucchini into long planks, about1/4″ thick. Slice onion into strips. Lay out both vegetables onto a baking sheet pan and brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast for 7-10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Drop oven temperature to 375.

In a food processor fitted with a swivel blade, pulse together the yogurt, goat cheese, feta, egg, salt, pepper. Then add fresh herbs and pulse again until the herbs are chopped—but not too finely—throughout.

Oil the terrine or loaf pan. Unroll phyllo pastry and cover with a damp towel. Lift a couple of leaves of the phyllo and lay into terrine. The leaves, or sheets will fold over the sides of the pan. Brush with olive oil and repeat the process until the terrine base and sides are covered, several sheets deep.

Place a layer of sliced tomatoes at the bottom. Spoon some of the cheese mixture over, then place a layer of the roasted zucchini planks. Continue this layering process until you fill the terrine. Finish with a few sheets of phyllo to cover the top.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Phyllo will brown and crispen.
Allow to cool, and invert. Serve in slices for snacking, or as an appetizer.
Makes 10 slices.


Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Egg/Cheese Dishes, Recipes, Vegetables

20 Responses to “Tomato-Zucchini Napoleon”
  1. Tracy Says:

    I can see why this sold out first :) Another dreamy creation…

  2. nancy Says:

    Hi Nancy,
    This looks wonderful! No surprise that your napoleon was the first thing to sell out — I would have made a beeline for it, too! And a costume party too — sounds like a great summerfest!

  3. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    I am not at all surprised that it sold out first. Even the herbs look extra special.

  4. Michele Napoli Says:

    What a hoot! Nashville must be one heck of a place to live. This dish is to die for, no wonder it sold out first. Beautiful.

  5. Renee Says:

    You sure did strut your stuff at the fest! I’m very impressed with how imaginative this dish is and by extension, you! Thanks for another inspired post.

  6. rachel Says:

    Another fantastic way to celebrate the tomato – you are very creative Nancy. This looks delcious, I have all but forgotten about philo (i used to cook with it alot and love it). I am planning your tomato paella next but then maybe this too. Beautiful pictures. Oh and hope it is a bit cooler for you guys now. Now big question. Did you dress up – tomato theme – too?

  7. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Michele, and all, the Tomato Art Fest is a big hoot–takes place in the very creative-entrepreneurial East side (East Nasty) of town. Music, tomato parade, tomato 5K run, dancers, artists, artisans, food, fashion show, very fun–always on one of the hottest days of the year!

    Rach-it is, thank goodness, cooler. today rain that we so desperately need. I didn’t dress up–bright red shirt and an apron with a tomato on it was all I could muster!!

  8. Fluffy Says:

    you are so cool… the first to sell out… you are my heroine

  9. rhonda Says:

    beautiful!! will this perhaps show up at our 3rd thursday dinner….hint, hint!! ;-)

  10. Faith Says:

    Your tomato-zucchini napoleon looks divine! I love zuccini very much. Your pictures are great and the napoleon looks so yummy.

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. marci mayer Says:

    I made this tonight, wow it was amazing and not hard to assemble at all. I will be making this again. Thank you!

  12. Tammy Says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Your photography is equivalent to your cooking. Thanks for sharing. It’s been some time since I’ve worked with phyllo but I will give it a try.

  13. gg Says:

    Nancy, it’s beautiful! Very creative. You’ve inspired me to go get some phyllo…cheers

  14. Katie@Cozydelicious Says:

    This looks so yummy! And what a fun event. I bet this makes a fantastic summer lunch.

  15. FOODESSA Says:

    How wonderful for your region to hold such a creative get together. I can only imagine the amazing feast you all have at this fest ;o)

    Your Napoleon looks like a real stunner…no wonder it got so much attention. I’d take a slice right now for breakfast ;o) The oregano looks so darn pretty.

    Nancy, as usual you certainly don’t disappointment.
    Brava cara!

    Ciao for now,

  16. my little expat kitchen Says:

    Your first photograph looks so pretty Nancy! Your Napoleon looks so so good and those tomatoes… yum! Love that you used phyllo :)

  17. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best Says:

    What an incredible summer recipe. The layers of fresh tomatoes, cheese and flaky dough makes this an incredible treat.

  18. Cristie Says:

    Oh, my. This looks really delicious. What a wonderful recipe for the summer produce. And I do wish I could come to the festival in Nashville!

  19., Teresa Blackburn Says:

    I was so happy to be with you at this event but am sad to say I never had a chance to get a slice! It was a hit and sold out too fast. Maybe next year?

  20. theveggie Says:

    This looks amazing. It is going straight to my To do list!! How many of these did you make for the sale?

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