Roast vegetable and ricotta tart could almost fall into the quiche category, but the addition of ricotta in the egg mixture saves it from being too eggy and therefore not quite a quiche. Not being the biggest fan of eggs, to my mind its the perfect middle ground.
What I like most about this tart are the roasted vegetables. You can use whatever vegetables you love the most although it’s best to steer away from those that have a high water content. As much as I love to include a punnet of cherry tomatoes in the roasting tray, I have come to realise that their inclusion makes the end product a little less dense than I prefer. Despite the vegetables you choose to roast, it is essential you add in a few sliced cloves of garlic. The roasted garlic flavour permeates the tart and that’s a flavour I cant’ get enough of.
Roast vegetable tart is yet another contentious inclusion in our meal planning. ‘You can’t please all the people all the time’, is certainly an apt phrase, and for that reason it’s only made when I know the dissenter won’t be home for dinner. That’s not to say she won’t eat it (begrudgingly), but I’ve never been a fan of making people eat what they don’t like, so have cooked accordingly. Children tend to grow into flavours, so if you make them eat things they don’t like, then they’ll dislike them forever more. Luckily for us, said child was out for dinner this week, so vegetable tart it was.
A few quick tips…
I use a food processor to make the pastry. It’s quick and easy. Alternatively, rub the butter into the sifted flour and salt with your fingertips, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then make a well in the centre and add the water. Using your hands, work the mixture into a dough. Once it comes roughly together, tip it onto a floured workbench and finish the mixing.
Also, I roll the pastry between baking paper because it doesn’t stick to the bench, and it makes it super easy to lift the rolled pastry into the prepared tin. One last tip: make a foil collar for the top edge of the pastry before you put it in the oven. It takes about 3 strips of foil to go around the edge. Place it gently. This addition stops it from burning. Before I discovered this hot tip I’d end up with an over-cooked (read, slightly burnt) edge that really didn’t look very good, and when you tried to cut it off, it just crumbled everywhere and made it worse. Foil collar to the rescue!
I prefer to use a deep sided, loose-bottom tin around 22.5cm diameter x 6cm deep (9 inches x 2.5 inches) because I like the tart to be thick. I have used a shallower quiche dish in the past, which is perfectly adequate if that’s what you have. However, it will have to be bigger in diameter to fit the quantity of tart filling.
The beauty of this recipe is it’s also a great way to use up leftover roast vegetables. And it makes perfect picnic food. A slice of cold tart and all you need is a napkin – forget the plates, or knives and forks. Enjoy!
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 red capsicum
- 1 small sweet potato
- 250 gram piece of pumpkin
- 1 red onion
- 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
- olive oil
- 250 grams ricotta
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup cream
- 60 grams feta cheese
- thyme leaves
- 120 grams unsalted, cold butter, chopped into small pieces
- 240 grams plain wholemeal flour
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- Sieve the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and blitz until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water through the top shoot and mix until the dough comes together.
- Remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured workbench. Press into a flat disc shape about the size of a small plate, wrap in plastic clingfilm and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
- While you are waiting start on the tart filling.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius.
- Cut the eggplant, capsicum, sweet potato, pumpkin and red onion into 2cm chunks. Place in a baking tray. Add the sliced garlic, 1 -2 tablespoons of olive oil (enough to very lightly coat the vegetables) and season with salt and pepper. Toss everything around to coat in the oil. Bake for20-30 minutes or until cooked through.
- Roll out the pastry and line the lightly greased, loose-bottom tart tin. Line the bottom of the pastry with baking paper or foil and fill with pastry weights (you can use dried beans). Place a foil collar around the top edge to stop it from overcooking. Bake at 200 degrees celsius for 15 minutes, then remove the weights and baking paper and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor, beat together the eggs, ricotta and cream (you can use a bowl and whisk if you'd prefer).
- Place the roasted vegetables in the bottom of the pre-baked tart shell. Make sure you spread them evenly - you don't want all the pumpkin in one place.
- Crumble the feta over the top of the vegetables then sprinkle on the thyme leaves.
- Pour the egg/ricotta mixture over the top and wait for a few minutes so allow it to seep through the vegetables.
- Bake in a 190 degree celsius oven for 35 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown on top.