Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Friday, 26 July 2013

No, not a description of me after Sunday Lunch - A Full Tart

Just because I haven't been blogging as frequently as I might like, it doesn't mean I haven't been cooking and this particular recipe was a success, though it does differ somewhat from the original recipe as I kinda made do with what I had, but I was happy and confident to experiment with what I knew was a reliable basic recipe because it is of Ottolenghi origin.
For some reason, though I wasn't wrong to do this, I bought a bag of roasted Mediterranean vegetables in the supermarket and after rediscovering them in the freezer, I decided to roast about three quarters of the pack with a little olive oil, seasoning and thyme to use as the filling for this full tart. Plus, personally, I think sweet potato is a weird vegetable. I am not sure I even like it in soup, let alone as something identifiable in a quiche. Each to their own.
The weather here of late has been really amazing! Normally I cook something Mediterranean inspired as a form of escapism and as a stark contrast to the rain teaming down the windows during the Summer months. However, sat outside on a balmy evening, with a glass of something, bit of salad, a sense of luscious well being - you could be sat somewhere with the Mediterranean lapping up against the shore rather than somewhere in northern England. How wonderful this country could be with some decent weather!
Full Tart, adapted from 'Plenty' by Yotam Ottolenghi
Serves 4 - 6
My adaptations in red
                                                  1 red bell pepper                                                  
1 yellow pepper
                                                100 ml olive oil                                                
aubergine, cut into 4cm dice
salt and black pepper
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3cm dice
small courgette, cut into 3cm dice
(or, replace the above vegetables with approximately 3/4 bag of frozen Mediterranean vegetables)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
                                              2 bay leaves                                                  
300 g shortcrust pastry (I used shop bought and had some left over which I froze)
8 fresh thyme sprigs, picked
                                              120 g ricotta cheese                                               
120 g feta
7 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 medium free-range eggs
200 ml double cream
If you are using fresh vegetables then follow the directions below, Otherwise, open the bag of vegetables, scatter them on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season and sprinkle over some herbs. Roast for about 20 - 25 minutes at 220C or until the edges of the vegetables have started to caramelise, and then head to the instructions for the pastry, or...
Heat the oven to 230C/gas mark 8. Cut around the pepper stalks, then lift out and discard, along with all the seeds. Put the peppers in a small ovenproof dish, drizzle with oil and put on the top shelf of the oven.
Mix the aubergine with four tablespoons of oil and season. Tip into a big baking tin and place on the shelf below the peppers. After 12 minutes, add the sweet potato, stir and roast for 12 minutes more. Now add the courgette, stir and roast for a further 10–12 minutes. By now, the peppers should be brown and the vegetables cooked. Remove everything from the oven and turn the heat to 160C/gas mark 2½. Cover the peppers with foil and leave to cool; once cool, peel and tear into strips.
Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Sauté the onions with the bay leaves and some salt for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown, soft and sweet. Discard the bay and set aside.
Grease a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Roll the pastry to a 3mm-thick circle large enough to line the tin with some overhang. Press it into the edges. Line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 30 minutes, lift out the paper and beans, and bake for 10–15 minutes more, until golden brown.
Remove and allow to cool a little. Spread the onions over the bottom, then top with roasted veg.
Scatter over half the thyme, dot first with small chunks of both cheeses and then the tomato halves, cut-side up.
Whisk the eggs and cream with some salt and pepper, and pour into the tart; the tomatoes and cheese should remain exposed. Scatter the remaining thyme on top.
Bake for 35–45 minutes, until the filling sets and turns golden.
Rest for at least 10 minutes, then trim off the excess pastry, remove the tart from its tin and serve.

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