Very Full Tart with Caramelized Fennel Salad

by Jennifer

The Very Full Tart comes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Plenty, and it’s absolutely delicious.  The original recipe called for 7 cherry tomatoes, halved, added to the tart when you add the cheese, which I did not do.  One thing:  my prebaked pie crust shrunk considerably (not enough overhang?), and of course the egg/cream filling spilled over the crust and surrounded it.  The result – no longer a crisp tart crust, but still fantastic!  (Seen here served with Challah.)

Serves 6.

Very Full Tart

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 7 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped into 2” pieces
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 11 oz. pie crust dough (I used the Fool-Proof pie dough recipe, which I made the day before)
  • Fresh thyme leaves from 8 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/3 cup ricotta
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with one rack in the upper third of the oven and one in the center.  Carefully remove the stem of each pepper, reaching in and cleaning out the seeds and membranes (shake them over the sink, or rinse them out and shake dry).

Place peppers in a small ovenproof dish, drizzle with about 1 TBS olive oil, and place on the top rack in the oven.

In a bowl, toss the eggplant with 4 TBS oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and place on the center rack;  roast for 12 minutes.

To the eggplant add the sweet potato, stir gently, and roast for another 12 minutes.

Check the peppers;  if the top side is blackened, use tongs to turn them over.

Add the zucchini to the sweet potato and eggplant pan, stir gently, and roast for another 10 – 12 minutes.  Remove all vegetables from the oven, cover the pepper dish with foil to let them steam, and lower the oven to 325 degrees.

While the vegetables are roasting, heat 2 TBS oil in a 10” – 12” saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and bay leaves and saute, stirring frequently,

until brown and tender, about 20 minutes.  Set aside, discarding bay leaves.  When the peppers are cool, peel and roughly chop them.

Combine all of the roasted vegetables in a bowl.

Coat a 9” – 10” tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray.  Roll out pie dough to about 1/8” thick and transfer to the tart pan, pressing gently into the corners and letting some overhang.

Line the dough with a circle of parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake the crust at 325 degrees for 30 minutes;  carefully remove pie weights and parchment paper and bake the crust for another 10 – 15 minutes, or until golden.  (I baked the crust a few hours ahead and let it sit at room temperature.)

Scatter the onions over the tart crust,

then top with the roasted vegetables, sprinkling half the thyme leaves over everything.

Drop teaspoons of ricotta cheese over the vegetables, and scatter the feta cheese.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, salt and pepper to taste;  pour this mixture over the vegetables, sprinkling the remaining thyme leaves on top.

Bake for 45 – 60 minutes, or until the filling sets and turns golden.  Allow to rest for a few minutes before removing tart from the pan and serving.

Caramelized Fennel Salad – adapted from Ina Garten

  • 3 bulbs fennel, halved lengthwise, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 TBS brown sugar
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 5 oz. salad greens
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette (see below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl toss together the fennel through pepper.

Spread fennel mixture over a large rimmed baking sheet (on parchment for easier clean up) and bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Remove from oven and let cool (you can make the fennel up to a day in advance;  let it come to room temperature before serving).  Toss caramelized fennel with the salad greens and vinaigrette;  serve immediately.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • pinch sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk together dressing ingredients;  you can make the vinaigrette in advance and refrigerate — let it come to room temperature before using.

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