Good Monday to you all. I hope you had a relaxing weekend and are ready for the week ahead. Today I would like to share a recipe for a delicious tart with loads of vegetables and full of flavor. My friend Rose brought this gorgeous vegetable tart to our Spring Tea Brunch last year that looked right out of a magazine! This tart looked so good that I’ve been wanting to make it for some time, but when Rose mentioned that it was a time consuming recipe, I stayed away from trying. But with more time on my hands now I ventured to give this recipe a try and you know what? Once you get the hang of making it once or twice, it’s actually easier than the recipe looks.
This veggie tart is from chef Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty which has been a worldwide bestseller for years. An awesome cookbook with all things vegetarian with a focus on Mediterranean, Israeli, Palestine and Middle Eastern recipes. Though Ottolenghi lives in London he curated these vegetarian recipes from various parts of the Middle East. To learn more about his cooking philosophy and all his cookbooks, here is the link for more information The Philosopher Chef in the New Yorker.
What makes the tart Mediterranean?
Now back to this recipe. A fabulous Mediterranean feast is how Ottolenghi calls this roasted vegetable tart. What gives the tart a Mediterranean twist is the roasted eggplant, peppers and feta cheese. All these veggies get caramelized when roasted and are then tossed with fried onions, and baked with eggs and cheese. This tart tastes so good that you could easily serve it as a sophisticated appetizer. What I love about the recipe is all the veggies and that it only requires 2 eggs.
This is a delicious tart that does take a little extra time to prepare, but on a slow day it’s so worth it to make this tart and serve it to the family.
A little about the recipe
Some of Ottolenghi’s recipes can be complicated and long, and the way he presented this recipe I can see how it can be rather intimidating. When I looked at the recipe I decided there had to be a more simpler way to make this tart and still have it taste great, and there is! Basically, just roast all the veggies in batches in a 450 degree oven. While that’s happening, fry onions in olive oil until browned and caramelized. Then to the onions add the roasted veggies and transfer into a tart shell. Pour in 2 whisked eggs, and dot with feta cheese. Then bake for 45 minutes. The result is a spectacular tart that taste as amazing as it looks! Give it a try!
A few tweaks to the recipe.
I did make a few little tweaks to the recipe. Rather than using ricotta cheese I decided to go with what I had at hand which was feta cheese and Parmesan cheese. I also added a generous amount of garlic for extra flavor. I had a bulb of fennel in the fridge and went ahead and added that in as well. And lastly to make it easy on myself I just used a store bought frozen tart dough. Here is a recipe for a wonderful Mediterranean inspired roasted veggie tart.
Eggplant and Sweet Potato Roasted Veggie Tart
- 1 eggplant cut into chunks
- 1 sweet potato peeled and cut into small pieces
- 1 Fennel bulb (optional)
- 1 zucchini cut into chunks
- 1 red bell pepper tops and seeds removed and cut into thin 3 inch strips
- 1 yellow bell pepper tops and seeds removed and cut into thin 3 inch strips
- 1 large onion about 2 cups finely cut
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- Cherry tomatoes cut in half for garnish on top of tart. about 5-7 tomatoes
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 cup feta cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled Parmesan cheese
- 1 9-inch tart pan lined with pastry dough (I used store bought tart dough)
- Preheat oven to 450F. Bake the prepared tart pan for 20 minutes or until the tart shell is golden brown. It’s okay if the center bubbles up while baking. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool.
- Fry the onions: heat 2 tbsp olive oil and caramelize the onions with bay leaves and garlic until the onions are golden brown and tender about 10 minutes. Turn the stove off. Remove the bay leaves.
- Roast the veggies.
- Toss the eggplant with 3 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until the veggies are tender. Add the eggplant to the onion mixture.
- Next add the sweet potatoes and fennel to the baking sheet. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the veggies for 20 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender. Take out of oven and add them to the onion mixture.
- Next add the zucchini and pepper to the baking pan. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 15 minutes until the fennel is tender. Add the veggies to the onion mixture.
- Mix all the veggies with the caramelized onions and thyme. Taste and adjust for salt. Veggies are ready for the tart.
- Prep the eggs: Whisk the eggs with cream. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Assemble the tart: Evenly spread the roasted veggies in the tart shell. Then pour the egg mixture all over the veggies. Dot the tart with feta cheese. Next evenly place the halved cherry tomatoes all over the tart. Sprinkle the tart with Parmesan cheese. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set. Take tart out of oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Enjoy with your favorite wine or a chilled lemonade.
Want to skip the tart shell? You can easily bake this delectable tart in a buttered baking dish and go for a crustless tart.