A Very Full (Vegetable) Tart

Gail came to town.  Perfect excuse for M and her to head on over to Kitchen Arts and Letters, where he never leaves empty-handed.  According to its website, it is the largest store of its type in the U.S. and possibly the world, with over 13,000 cookbook titles — domestic, imported, contemporary and out of print. M is like a kid in a candy store when he visits.

This time he came home with the most incredible vegetarian cookbook, Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.  The book is a collection of beautifully photographed vegetarian recipes, many of which appeared in different forms in The Guardian’s ‘New Vegetarian’ column in its weekend magazine.

Not readily available in the United States, M simply had to have it.  And who cares if we don’t know how many grams there are in a cup?  That’s what the internet is for, right?

The first thing that we made from this book was a wonderful vegetable tart, aptly named “A Very Full Tart.”  It is described as a fantastic Mediterranean feast, full to the brim with roasted vegetables.

And what a feast it is.  Fresh farm market vegetables combine with a creamy ricotta and feta spiked sauce and a flaky pastry crust to create a delicious savory dish that makes an excellent side to a piece of grilled fish.  The tart could also be (and was) served with a light salad and called dinner.

A Very Full Tart

from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients

  • 1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper
  • about 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 aubergine, cut into 4cm dice
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3cm dice
  • 1 small courgette, cut into 3cm dice
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 300 g shortcrust pastry
  • 8 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 120 g each ricotta and feta
  • 7 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 200 ml double cream

Preparation

  1. Heat the oven to 230 °C.
  2. Cut around the pepper stalks, then lift out and discard, along with all the seeds.
  3. Put the peppers in a small ovenproof dish, drizzle with oil and put on the top shelf of the oven.
  4. Mix the aubergine with four tablespoons of oil and season.
  5. Tip into a big baking tin and place on the shelf below the peppers.
  6. After 12 minutes, add the sweet potato, stir and roast for 12 minutes more.
  7. Now add the courgette, stir and roast for a further 10–12 minutes.
  8. By now, the peppers should be brown and the vegetables cooked.
  9. Remove everything from the oven and turn the heat to 160 °C.
  10. Cover the peppers with foil and leave to cool; once cool, peel and tear into strips.
  11. Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
  12. Sauté the onions with the bay leaves and some salt for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown, soft and sweet.
  13. Discard the bay and set aside.
  14. Grease a 22 cm loose-bottomed tart tin.
  15. Roll the pastry to a 3 mm-thick circle large enough to line the tin with some overhang.
  16. Press it into the edges.
  17. Line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans.
  18. Bake blind for 30 minutes, lift out the paper and beans, and bake for 10–15 minutes more, until golden brown.
  19. Remove and allow to cool a little.
  20. Spread the onions over the bottom, then top with roasted veg.
  21. Scatter over half the thyme, dot first with small chunks of both cheeses and then the tomato halves, cut-side up.
  22. Whisk the eggs and cream with some salt and pepper, and pour into the tart; the tomatoes and cheese should remain exposed.
  23. Scatter the remaining thyme on top.
  24. Bake for 35–45 minutes, until the filling sets and turns golden.
  25. Rest for at least 10 minutes, then trim off the excess pastry, remove the tart from its tin and serve.
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2 Comments

Filed under Pies and Tarts, Savory

2 responses to “A Very Full (Vegetable) Tart

  1. Wait. Where is the store? When can I go? Why isn’t it near me? Not fair. However, thank you for sharing this beautiful tart. It looks absolutely divine and full of deliciousness. I could see it being a great brunch dish as well since I don’t like quiche 😉

  2. Pingback: Meat Free Mid Week Recipe – A Very Full Vegetable Tart | My Green Australia

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