The roasted vegetable tart that started it all

This roasted Mediterranean vegetable tart was the beginning of my latest cookbook obsession. The Yotam Ottolenghi Plenty book was a birthday present from my brother in London who loved Yotam’s bustling Islington restaurant and felt that I should own his latest cookbook (Thanks Robert!).

To tell you the truth the book sat there collecting dust for a few months. In spite of having enjoyed his London restaurants many times, the urge to cook from it just wasn’t there. Some cookbooks are like that, but when you finally dive into them you wonder why you held back from all the incredible food you could have been eating.

I’ll probably post a lot of Ottolenghi recipes from now on because I think he has a wonderful way of making vegetarian food flavoursome, satisfying and interesting, just like this roasted vegetable tart or “Very full tart” as he very rightly calls it.

Roasted Mediterranean vegetable tart


1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

About 100ml olive oil

1 medium aubergine, cut into 4cm dice

1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3cm dice

1 small courgette, cut into 3cm dice

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

2 bay leaves

Shortcrust pastry (see recipe below)

8 thyme springs, leaves picked

120g ricotta

120g feta

7 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 medium free-range eggs

200 double cream (single is OK too)

Salt and black pepper

Ingredients shortcrust pastry:

250g/8oz plain flour

2 pinches of salt

110g/4oz butter, cubed

6 tbsp cold water

Method shortcrust pastry:

1)   Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the cubes of butter.

2)   Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining. Try to work quickly so that it does not become greasy.

3)   Using a knife, stir in just enough of the cold water to bind the dough together.

4)   Wrap the dough in cling-film and chill for 10-15 minutes before using.

Method vegetable tart:

1)   Make sure you have the shortcrust pastry ready and waiting in the fridge before you begin preparing the tart

2)   Heat the oven to 230C/gas mark 8.

3)   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.

4)   Mix the aubergine with four tablespoons of oil and season. Tip into a big baking tin and place on the shelf below the peppers.

5)   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.

6)   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.

7)   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.

8)   Discard the bay and set aside.

9)   Grease a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin.

10) Roll the pastry to a 3mm-thick circle large enough to line the tin with some overhang.

11) Press it into the edges. Line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans (or uncooked rice will do)

12) Bake blind for 30 minutes, lift out the paper and beans, and bake for 10–15 minutes more, until golden brown.

13) Remove and allow to cool a little.

14) Spread the onions over the bottom, then top with roasted veg.

15) Scatter over half the thyme, dot first with small chunks of both cheeses and then the tomato halves, cut-side up.

16) Whisk the eggs and cream with some salt and pepper, and pour into the tart; the tomatoes and cheese should remain exposed.

17) Scatter the remaining thyme on top.

18) Bake for 35–45 minutes, until the filling sets and turns golden.

19) Rest for at least 10 minutes, then trim off the excess pastry, remove the tart from its tin and serve.

Serves 4-6


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4 Responses to “The roasted vegetable tart that started it all”
  1. Amy says:

    What a beautiful tart! I am loving all of the colors from the veggies, and I am sure it is even more delicious than it is pretty :)!

  2. Wow. This looks amazing!!! So pretty. And I love the ingredients too!

  3. Christina says:

    This tart looks incredible! I can’t wait to give it a try! 🙂

  4. This looks super delish. thanks for coming to my blog and leaving a nice comment. I would join pinterest. It is a great way to find many great recipes and so many other ideas. Looking forward to sharing recipes with you.

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