Bring some sunshine into your kitchen with this vegetable tart. Made with aubergine, sweet potatoes and courgette, it’s not only beautiful to look at, but is an easy way to get in some of those 5-a-day!
For the pastry
- 250g spelt flour
- 125g cold butter, cubed
- 25g gruyere cheese, finely grated
- 1 egg, yolk only
For the filling
- 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled
- 2 courgettes
- 1 small aubergine
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 250g mascarpone
- 2 eggs
- 150g pesto (either homemade or shop-bought)
- 25g fresh breadcrumbs
- 100g gruyere cheese, grated
- Small punch of thyme, leaves only
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Begin by making the pastry. Pop the flour in a bowl along with 1/2 tsp of salt, then add the butter and rub together using your fingertips until you have a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add in the cheese and stir through using a butter knife, then add the egg yolk. Drizzle in 1 tbsp of cold water, then stir everything together (still using the knife) until clumps of dough begin to form. Alternatively, you can whizz everything together in a food processor to make the pastry.
- Tip out onto a work surface and bring the dough together with your hands into a smooth ball. Wrap in cling film, and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
- Slice the sweet potatoes, courgettes and aubergine length ways as thinly as possible, brushing the aubergine with lemon juice as you go to prevent it from turning brown. Put the sweet potato in a bowl with 2 tsp of water and microwave on high for 2 minutes, then remove and leave to cool. Do the same with the aubergine and courgettes, but adjust the microwaving time to 30 seconds.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and and roll out to a thickness of 0.5cm. Lin a 23cm fluted tart tin with the pastry and trim the sides, leaving on overhang of about 1cm. Pop back in the fridge and chill for a further 10 minutes. Heat your oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6.
- When the pastry is cold and firm, line it with scrunched up baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and parchments and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, make the filling by combing the mascarpone, eggs, pesto, breadcrumbs and gruyere in a bowl. Season well and mix.
- Remove the pastry from the oven and trim the sides with a sharp knife so that they are flush with the top of the tin. Pour in the filling and spread out evenly.
- Reduce the oven heat to 180°C / 160°C Fan / Gas Mark 4. Drain any liquid from the vegetables and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place a slice of sweet potato, courgette and aubergine on top of each other in a stack, then roll into a spiral. Place in the middle of the tart, then build another stack and, instead of creating a spiral, wrap these around the central spiral in the tart. Continue doing this until you have created a rose effect. Sprinkle the thyme leaves between the layers of vegetables, and drizzle the oil over the top.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the filling has set. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
Lead image: from_my_point_of_view via Getty images.