Beetroot & Carrot Tart with Feta & herbs

Vegetable Tart

This is my go to tart after a visit to the Farmer’s Market when I have a haul of carrots, beetroot and zucchini. I love to make my own pastry however to keep things easy a store-bought shortcrust pastry would work perfectly too. Serve with a leafy green salad and you have a delicious lunch.

6 baby carrots (heirloom variety if avail), scrubbed
2 beetroots, scrubbed
1 red onion, peeled & cut into wedges
1 zucchini, sliced into 1cm rounds
2 springs thyme
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
salt & pepper
2 eggs
200ml cream
100g feta, crumbled
25g roasted hazelnuts or pecans
1 shortcrust pastry shell, either a 23cm round or 11x34cm rectangle, blind baked (recipe follows)

Herb Salad
handful parsley leaves
handful mint leaves
small amount red onion, very finely shaved
squeeze lemon juice, drizzle of olive oil, S&P

Preheat oven to 200C. Wrap beetroot in foil, place in oven and bake for 45 mins to 1 hour or until tender.
Meanwhile, combine carrots, red onion, thyme sprigs, cumin seeds, oil & honey in a roasting pan. Toss to coat, season with salt & pepper & roast for 15 mins, then add the zucchini and roast for a further 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender tender. Set aside to cool.
Place eggs, cream and half of the feta in a bowl and season with salt & pepper, whisk to combine.
Place carrots, onion, beetroot and zucchini into the tart base. Pour in egg mixture and sprinkle remaining feta over the top.
Bake for 30-35 mins or until just set and golden. Place hazelnuts, parsley, mint and red onion in a bowl and dress with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.
Serve tart warm with herb salad.

Shortcrust Pastry

This recipe, adapted from Bourke Street Bakery, is one of the yummiest shortcrust pastry recipes I have made – it just melts in the mouth. I like the addition of spelt or wholemeal flour for it’s texture and nutty flavour. I find the pastry is very easy to work with, an added bonus!

150g unsalted butter, diced into 1.5cm cubes
200g plain flour
100g spelt/wholemeal flour
pinch salt
1 1/2 tsp vinegar, chilled
50ml water, chilled

Remove butter from fridge about 20 mins before you start making the pastry so that it is just soft but still cold.
Combine the flours & salt in a mixing bowl and toss through the butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour to partly combine. Turn the mixture out onto a clean bench and gather it together.
Combine the water & vinegar and sprinkle it over the flour mixture. Use the palm of your hand to smear the mixture away from you across the bench. Gather together and repeat this smearing action 2-3 times more until you achieve a pastry with streaks of butter marbled throughout. Wrap in plastic & place in the fridge to rest for at least 2 hours.
Bring pastry out of the fridge for about 20 mins before rolling out. On a lightly floured bench, roll out pastry to line a 34x12cm loose base tart tin. Put back in the fridge to rest for at least 30 mins to 1 hour. Prick base with a fork, line with baking paper & fill with baking beans – cook for 10 mins. Remove baking beans & cook for a further 5 mins.


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