Thursday, 3 January 2013

Roasted Vegetable Tart

So after much persuasion from family and friends, I am back indefinitely. The last few months have been a whirlwind of birthdays, festivities, impromptu parties and ridiculous amounts of socialising. You know it’s bad when you get a text from the parents complaining that they haven’t seen me in 4 days, despite living under the same roof!

In an attempt to get back into the blogging groove, I made a Roasted Vegetable Tart; a Bon Appetite recipe I’ve been eyeing for many months now. It was also an opportunity to experiment with a recipe from my latest collection of books; Richard Bertinet’s Pastry. Having lived in Bath, I always found myself walking past his cooking school, peeking through the windows all the while marvelling at all those at work, wishing that I had the money to enrol in any one of his classes.

His step-by-step method (accompanied by some gorgeous photographs!) really helped me understand the process and the importance of certain steps when making shortcrust pastry. Needless to say, this is probably the best shortcrust pastry I’ve ever made. It was light, crumbly yet crisp and so delicious. Paired with layers of sweet roasted peppers, roasted garlic, onions, aubergines, balsamic cherry tomatoes and feta cheese, this tart is perfect for any occasion!

* The original recipe called for the use of sweet potatoes, fennel and goats cheese but I decided to omit these as I didn't quite fancy making a trip to the grocery store!

Roasted Vegetable Tart

Makes a 9 inch tart

Shortcrust pastry recipe from Richard Bertinet's 'Pastry'

Vegetable tart adapted from Yotam Ottelenghi (Bon Appetite)

Shortcrust Pastry

*Can be made a day ahead. Store in an airtight container.


250g plain flour
1 tsp salt
125g butter, straight from the fridge
1 egg
35g cold water

  1. Flatten the butter slightly between two parchment sheets and add into the bowl of flour.
  2. Cover the butter well and tear it into large pieces.
  3. Flake the flour and butter together until shards of butter are the size of your little fingernail.
  4. Tip in the egg, add the water and mix everything together.
  5. Mix everything with a plastic scraper (or with a spoon if your prefer), until it forms a very rough dough that shouldn't be sticky at all.
  6. Turn the pastry onto the work surface, and work the dough with both hands.
  7. Once the dough comes together, tap each side on the work surface to square it off so that when you roll it, you start off with a good shape.
  8. Wrap the pastry in greaseproof paper and rest in the fridge for an hour or preferably overnight.
  9. To roll out, lightly dust work surface with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the pastry back and forth in short sharp movements. Keep lifting pastry after every 2-3 rolls to avoid it sticking to the work surface.
  10. Drape pastry over tin of your choice. Let the pastry fall inside, easing it gently down the sides and base of the tin, without pulling or streching.
  11. Leave pastry to hang over the edges. Prick the base of pastry with a fork. Place a sheet of baking parchement over the pastry, tip baking beans in and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  12. Blind bake the pastry for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. 
  13. Leave to cool then fill with desired filling. 

Roasted Vegetable Tart


2 bell peppers, yellow and red

2 medium eggplants, cut into ½" cubes
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
2 small onion, sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic
9 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
4 ounces feta cheese
2 eggs

¾ cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Arrange racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 200°C.
  2. Slice bell peppers in half and remove stems and seeds. Transfer to a baking dish, drizzle with 2 tbsp of oil and roast on the upper rack of the oven for about 30 mins. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with cling film and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Peel peppers to remove the skin, then tear into strips. Set aside
  3. Meanwhile, toss the eggplant and garlic cloves with 4 tbsp of oil, salt and pepper. Spread it out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and roast on lower rack for 20 minutes.
  4. Line another baking tray and toss tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Arrange tomatoes on tray and roast for 15-20 minutes until tomatoes begin to brown slightly and become tender. Set aside.
  5. Heat remaining oil in a skillet and add onions. Cook and stir frequently for 5 minutes until onion begin to slightly soften. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to paper towel-lined plate.
  6. Before assembling the tart, preheat oven to 180°C.
  7. Scatter onion mixture over bottom of tart crust. Top with eggplant and roasted peppers. Scatter 1 tsp of thyme over the vegetables and top with feta cheese and roasted tomatoes.
  8. Whisk eggs and cream in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper. Slowly pour this mixture over the vegetables.
  9. Scatter remaining thyme over the top and bake until filing in set, 50-60 minutes.
  10. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
  11. Best served with a side salad.