Rustic Tart with Eggplant, Tomato and Zucchini

This rustic tart makes a delicious lunch with a crisp salad and some crusty bread.

The homemade pastry is particularly good, and very easy to make if you have a food processor, but if you don’t feel like making it simply use store-bought puff or shortcrust pastry.

Ingredients

Quick Flaky Pastry – or use 1-2 sheets of store-bought puff or shortcrust pastry
125g unsalted butter, coarsely grated then frozen
100g plain flour
85g wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt flakes
1 tsp vinegar
1/3 cup cold water

Filling
500g ricotta (purchase fresh ricotta from the deli)
25g finely grated parmesan cheese
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cream
2 tsp sea salt flakes + a few grindings of freshly ground pepper
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp basil

Topping
2 red onions, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 zucchini, thinly sliced into rounds
1 eggplant, thinly sliced into rounds
2-3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
6 basil leaves for garnish
extra olive oil and salt and pepper for brushing the vegetables

Method

  1. Prepare the pastry – add the flours and salt to the bowl of a food processor and blitz to combine. Add the frozen, grated butter into the flour then pulse until the butter is just chopped into the flour.
    Sprinkle the vinegar and chilled water over the flour/butter mixture and pulse to just bring together. At this point press a small amount of mixture between your fingers – if it holds together easily there is no need to add more water. If it doesn’t, add another teaspoon of chilled water, then test again.
  2. Tip the pastry onto a clean work surface and bring it together with your hands. Knead lightly into a smooth ball, you should still see streaks of butter in the dough. Shape into a flat round disc, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least 30 mins.
  3. Preheat oven to 190C fan-forced. Line a baking tray (large enough to hold a 30cm round tart) with baking paper.
  4. Place the onions and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until softened and slightly sticky, approximately 15-20 minutes. Add the vinegar to the onions and cook for another couple of minutes.
  5. Place the eggplant and zucchini slices in a single layer on separate oven trays and brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the eggplant for approximately 20 minutes and the zucchini for approximately 12 minutes or until softened.
  6. Combine the ricotta, parmesan, eggs and cream in a bowl and mix well. Add the salt, pepper, lemon zest and basil and mix to combine.
  7. Roll the pastry into a circle about 35 cm in diameter. Roll up onto your rolling pin and transfer to the prepared tray – the pastry will overhang the tray at this stage.
  8. Place the ricotta mixture in the centre of the pastry and use a palette knife or spatula to spread the filling in an even layer, leaving a border of about 5 cm. Add a layer of the cooked onions, then arrange the eggplant slices, overlapping, in a circle on the outer edge of the ricotta, then the tomato slices so they overlap the eggplant but are positioned closer to the centre, followed by the zucchini slices to fill the centre.
  9. Now carefully fold the border of pastry back over the filling, gently pressing and pleating as you go. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until filling has firmed up and pastry is golden. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  10. Garnish with the extra basil leaves and serve with a crisp salad and crusty bread.

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