Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Tart

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Tart Recipe Ottolenghi Plenty

How does this sound? A tart bursting at the seams with sweet roasted vegetables {red and yellow bell pepper, eggplant, sweet potatoes and zucchini} and topped with caramelized onions, feta, ricotta and cherry tomatoes.  And I almost forgot - thyme. It's a delicious splurge and if you are looking for ideas for Easter brunch, here is your central dish. 

On a side note: this recipe provided me my first opportunity to tap into my herb garden, newly replenished for spring. The season is finally here! 

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Tart

1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
about 7 T olive oil
1 medium eggplant cut into 1" dice
salt and pepper
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1" dice
1 small zucchini, cut into 1" dice
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
pie crust dough
leaves from 8 small sprigs of thyme
1/3 c reduced fat ricotta
4 oz + 1/4 oz reduced fat feta 
2 eggs
1 c heavy cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil and coat lightly with non-stick spray.

Cut the stems out of the bell peppers, removing them gently and shaking out the seeds.  Place the peppers, whole, on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Place on the top rack of your oven.

Toss eggplant in a bowl with 4 T of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Spread on the other baking sheet in a  single layer and place in oven on lower rack.

Roast the vegetables for 12 minutes. Then add the sweet potatoes to the eggplant. Toss and roast for another 12 minutes. Then add the zucchini to the eggplant and sweet potatoes. Stir and roast for 12 minutes. Remove both trays from the oven and wrap the bell peppers in foil. Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees.  When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove and discard skins and tear the peppers into strips.

While the vegetables are roasting, heat 2 T of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, bay leaves and some salt, sauteing for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown, soft and sweet. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves. {Helpful hint: if you start this process as soon as you add the sweet potatoes to the roasting pan, your roasted vegetables and onions will be ready at about the same time.

Lightly grease a 9" tart pan.  I can't believe I only have a 7" tart pan and an 8" tart pan.  Oh well, no problem - I improvised with a cake pan. Line the pan with the dough and fold excess edges over to create a thick edge. Compress the edges of the dough with a fork. Bake the pie crust for about 20 minutes, until it just starts to turn golden. 

Remove from oven and scatter the onions on the bottom of the pie crust. Top with roasted vegetables and then scatter half the thyme leaves on top. Now dot the vegetables with the ricotta and feta and top with tomatoes, cut side up.

In a bowl, whisk eggs and cream with some salt and pepper. Gently pour over the tart and top with the remaining thyme.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the filling is set and the top is golden brown. 

Serves 4 - 6.

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Source: Adapted from Plenty, Ottolenghi.

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