Vegetable Arty Tart
Carrying on from my Rose Apple Tarts, I decided to make a similar savoury version using bright coloured vegetables – courgettes, carrots and aubergines. It turned out to be very pretty, but it did take a lot of work and patience! It’s a good one to make if you have a glut of vegetables in the summer, and a bit of time on your hands
For this tart, you could equally experiment with different fillings (e.g. an egg/quiche filling) and a variety of other vegetables (e.g. butternut squash, beetroot etc.) There are so many exciting colour, flavour and texture combinations you can play around with for this tart. There are similar recipes on the web, but this one is my own tri colour version. It’s a recipe I think that has a lot of potential and I look forward to experimenting a bit more. I think miniature ones with beetroot and goats cheese would be great as a starter, and also might take bit less work. Some of the tougher vegetables like beetroot, you may need to blanch/ par cook. I’ll just have to experiment and see.
- 6oz of plain white flour, sieved
- pinch of salt
- 3 oz of butter, chopped into small pieces
- a few drops of cold water
- beaten egg white (optional)
- 2oog of mozzarella
- 200g of sour cream
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- pepper to taste
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of paprika
- 1 medium courgette, top and bottom stalk removed
- 1 medium aubergine, top stalk removed
- 2/3 peeled carrots
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Place the sieved flour into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs. Take a fork and add just a few drops of water to bring the mixture into a ball of pastry. Place the ball of pastry in Clingfilm or plastic bag and leave to rest in the fridge for at least thirty minutes.
Pre -heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a 9 inch flan tin with butter. Once the pastry has rested, place it on a floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it into an 11 inch circle. Carefully place the pastry into the tin and rest in the fridge for a further 5 minutes.
Take the pastry out of the fridge, and gently prick the base with a fork. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill it baking beads. Place in the oven and bake blind for 15-20 minutes. Once barely golden in colour, remove from the oven and leave to cool and set. If you want to maintain a crisper base, you can brush the base with beaten egg white.
For the filling, break up the mozzarella into small pieces and mix with the sour cream. Beat well with a wooden spoon, and then stir in the seasoning. You can add more seasoning if desired. It’s quiet a blank canvas, so if you fancy spicing it up with chilli powder, or giving it an Italian flavour with oregano – then do so.
Meanwhile, using a mandolin / slicer/ sharp knife – cut the vegetables into thin strips. Once you have them all sliced, place them on a level surface to see if there is much difference in the height. If so, chop off any edges so they are all roughly the same height. Place them all flat on a plate and season well with salt and pepper.
Next fill the pre cooked pastry case with the cheese and sour cream filling. On a chopping board, roll one strip of carrot into a tight circle, then wrap a strip of courgette, around that followed by a strip of aubergine. You may need a second pair of hands with this. I had the help of the OH. Repeat with the same pattern until your circle of rolled vegetables is roughly 9 inches in diameter. With two hands, carefully lift the circle of vegetables and gently lay it into the cheese and sour cream filling. Season again and brush with olive oil. Place in the oven (190 degrees Celsius) for 40-50 minutes. I covered with tinfoil near the end to prevent it burning. Serve as a main with a salad or as a side vegetable dish. It is quiet a bland tart, so there is plenty of scope to spice this recipe up a bit. I was bit timid first time out!