Super-flavorful vegetable tart.

Full disclosure: When I made the vegetable tart featured in Bon Appétit’s January issue, my results weren’t nearly as photogenic as the gorgeous work of culinary artistry on the magazine’s cover. [But really, when does that ever happen?]

But oh my, was my vegetable tart incredibly delicious: full of savory vegetables, flecked with flavorful fresh thyme and enhanced with a generous hit of fresh goat cheese. You may think this resembles a quiche, but this tart recipe includes just 2 eggs and less than 1 cup of cream, so it’s less wicked than, say, your typical quiche Lorraine.

A few observations: This recipe is not difficult. It is, however, time-consuming. [And totally worth it!] Don’t do as I did an overlook the step of blind-baking the crust, which set me back a little time-wise. And be prepared for your blind-baked crust to shrink in the pie plate (that’s why my tart wasn’t as pretty as Bon Appétit’s).

This recipe was created by influential London chef and restaurateur Yottam Ottolenghi, whose inspiration shows up in the work of founder Heidi Swanson, among others. Ottolenghi’s food tends toward the vegetarian, but it’s robust, complex, intriguing and full of flavor. I’ve adapted it by using my Grandma’s pie crust recipe and by making a few substitutions. (See the original vegetable tart recipe here.)

vegetable tart
(makes 6 servings)

For the tart crust (can be made 1 day ahead)
pastry for a single pie crust (Grandma’s foolproof flaky pie crust)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough into a round about 13 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick; transfer to a pie plate and crimp edge. Freeze the crust for 15 minutes. Line the dough with a piece of foil that you’ve lightly sprayed with nonstick spray; fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until crust is very lightly golden.

For the filling (vegetables can be cooked 1 day ahead and refrigerated, separately)
1 red bell pepper (alternately, 1 jar of roasted bell peppers)
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium onion, quartered top-to-bottom and thinly sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, quartered top-to-bottom and thinly sliced
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and rinsed (I used oven-dried tomatoes from my freezer)
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
4 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper

Roast the bell pepper: Preheat broiler. Trim stem from pepper, slice in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place pepper halves on a foil-lined baking sheet; press to flatten with your hand. Broil until skin is charred black all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer pepper to a bowl; cover with foil to steam the skin loose. Remove skin and tear pepper into wide strips.

Roast the squash and sweet potato: Preheat oven to 450 degrees; line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss potato and zucchini cubes with 1 Tbsp. olive oil; season well with salt and pepper. Spread on foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, until vegetables are lightly browned and tender but not mushy.

Prepare the fennel and onion: In a large skillet, warm 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add fennel and onion slices; reduce heat slightly and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are translucent and still crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.

Assemble the tart: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs and cream together in a bowl; season with pepper. Distribute onion/fennel mixture in the bottom of the tart shell. Top with zucchini/sweet potato mixture, then roasted red peppers, then 1 tsp. of fresh thyme. Top with crumbled goat cheese, then with sundried tomatoes. Carefully pour egg/cream mixture over the top, then sprinkle with remaining fresh thyme. Bake for 45–50 minutes, until filling is set. (Note: If you find the crust is browning too quickly, then take a square of foil and cut out a circle, about 6 inches in diameter, from the middle. Place foil over the pie to cover the crust.) Serve warm or at room temperature.

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