I saw a very nice recipe on BBC Food for what Tom Kerridge called Mediterranean Puff Pastry. It was from a series he made on losing weight.
So I decided that I would like to make that. However in the original version, for instance, the puff pastry sheet was cut to a particular size, and the volume of ingredients was calculated to provide a meal taking account of the original intent.
For my version, though, I didn’t want to waste any pastry by cutting it down to size. I was also not particularly concerned to make the tart with a view to weight loss. So I was able to make a larger tart and also to include more cheese for added flavour.
To that end I used mainly the same ingredients as the original recipe, but in different volumes. I also added some grated gruyere cheese. Of course and hard cheese, grated, will work just as well as gruyere.
Although I used basically the same ingredients as the original recipe these can be varied to suit tastes. So maybe aubergine would be a good addition. So, too, might, sweetcorn. Maybe try drizzling balsamic vinegar on the top too. That could work very well.
In the recipe below I detail the weight of the various ingredients. But that is only as a guide, pastry sheets come in different sizes. How much of any particular ingredient you use is also a matter of choice. In addition if you actually prepare more vegetables than you need for the tart they are great to use in other dishes, such as quiche or omelettes.
I also placed a layer of foil under my pastry. That was to allow me to cover the edge of the pastry during baking, to avoid excessive browning.
The recipe is takes a some time but it is quite simple. There are several distinct steps to follow. Firstly prepare and chill the pastry. Then it is baked, for 15 minutes, along with the vegetables. The pastry is then flattened, leaving a risen border around the edge, and baked again. Once the pastry base is fully baked and firm the tart is assembled with cheese and veg and baked again.
In addition each baking step uses different oven temperatures.
I found the whole process quite easy. The pastry baked well. Having roasted the vegetable a little before adding to the tart prevented a soggy bottom. As did including a layer of grated gruyere before adding the vegetables.
So with the gruyere and vegetables layered I then added some Greek style cheese and some halved cherry tomatoes. The final addition was a little seasoning.
I then did the final bake of the tart. That was for about 20 minutes. Then I transferred the tart to a board. I cut some portions, easily. Then it was time for tasting.
The pastry was crisp as it should be. The vegetables were soft and sweet and complemented the flavours from the cheese. Including garlic, rosemary and thyme also provided and extra dimension to the tart.
This tart is perfect to serve for lunch, or dinner, and goes so well with a side salad.
My niece gave very positive feedback. She said the tart was ‘amazing’. I am sure to make it again soon since I enjoyed it so much.
Another lovely recipe is my Pancetta & Leek Quiche.
Vegetable & Cheese Puff Pastry TartCourse: Pies, TartsDifficulty: Medium
1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
250g(10 oz) courgettes, sliced lengthwise and cut into slices
250g(10 oz) peppers, red, yellow, orange, in 1 to 2 cm pieces
250g(10 oz) red onions chopped in 1 to 1 cm pieces
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon of finely chopped thyme
65g(2 1/2 oz) grated gruyere cheese(or other cheese of choice)
120g(4 1/1 oz) Greek style salad cheese, cubed or crumbled
10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper to taste
15ml(1 tbsp) milk
- Place a sheet of aluminium foil on a baking tray.
- Unroll the pastry and lay it, still on the parchment paper, on the foil.
- Use a sharp knife to score a border 2 cm wide along all the edges.
- Prick inside the border, all over the pastry, with a fork.
- Place the tray into the fridge and chill the pastry for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 240C/220C Fan/460F.
- Brush the surface of the pastry with milk.
- Put all the vegetables, except the tomatoes, into a large bowl and add the garlic, rosemary and thyme.
- Stir them all together and place them onto a parchment line baking tray.
- Spray the vegetable with some olive oil(if you don’t have a spray you can stir a teaspoon of oil into the veg while still in the bowl).
- Place both trays, with the pastry on one and the vegetable on the other into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the trays from the oven and set the vegetable to one side.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/140C Fan/325F.
- Press down the pastry, inside the border, to leave a raised edge around the pastry.
- Fold the foil over to cover the border of the pastry
- Bake the pastry for a further 25 to 30 minutes until it is very crisp.
- Remove the pastry from the oven and turn the temperature up to 200C/180C Fan/390F.
- Spread the gruyere over the pastry, staying within the border.
- Layer the vegetables onto the top of the gruyere.
- Place the Greek style cheese and the tomatoes over the top, distributing evenly.
- Season to your liking.
- Bake the tart for a further 20 minutes then remove from the oven and serve.