I’m baaaack! It has been a busy month and a half. I have had so many things I was planning to post, but life just kept happening. We have celebrated Karva Chauth, Diwali, Halloween, Thanksgiving, my sister’s wedding, my birthday, and we are about to celebrate my husband’s birthday this weekend. I have some pictures from it all below. In my mind, I was going to post a recipe from each of these occasions, but that didn’t happen. However, I did make this delicious tart a few weeks ago that was too pretty not to share.
These are shots from most of the holidays. I really am trying to get better at taking photos, but I’m just not great at it. I didn’t even take one photo at my sister’s wedding. We are about to go to India for three weeks, and I keep reminding myself already that I must take photos.
This tart is from Ottolenghi’s Plenty. He calls it “a very full tart” and indeed it is. However, his tart was a bit too full for what we had on hand, so I altered it to fit our tastes and pantry. He also did not provide a pie crust recipe for it, so I found my own. This is definitely a bit heavy, but it is perfect for a special occasion. I doubled the recipe; this gave me two tarts for not much extra work. We shared the extra tart with our brother-in-law who hopefully enjoyed it as much as we did.
For the Crust:
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 stick plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup ice water
For the Pie:
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 2 inch dice
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp thyme
- salt and pepper
- about 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup ricotta
- 4 oz feta
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
For the Crust:
- In a food processor, pulse the flour with 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
- Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, with some pea-size pieces of butter still visible.
- Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture and pulse until the dough just starts to come together. You may not need all the water, so add the water in batches. You should still see small pieces of butter when the dough is ready.
- Scrape the dough out onto a work surface. Gather any crumbs together and form it into an 8 inch square or disk.
- Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour and for up to 2 days.
For the Pie:
- Preheat the oven to 450 F. Mix the eggplant in a bowl with 3-4 tbsp of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Spread in a large baking pan and place in the oven.
- Toss the zucchini with a tiny bit of olive oil and salt and pepper in a bowl. After the eggplant has cooked for about 20 minutes, add the zucchini to the pan and stir. Cook another 12-15 minutes.
- Remove the vegetables from the oven and turn the oven down to 325F.
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan on media heat. Saute the onions with the bay leaves and some salt for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they turn brown, soft, and sweet. Remove from heat and set aside. Discard the bay leaves.
- Lightly grease a 9-inch loose-bottomed tart pan. Roll out the pie dough to a circle roughly 1/8 inch thick and large enough to line the pan, plus extra to hang over the rim. Carefully line the pan with the dough, pressing it into the corners and leaving the excess hanging over the top edge. Line the dough with a large sheet of parchment paper and fit it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the paper with the weights, then back for 10-15 minutes more, or until it turns golden brown. Remove and allow to cool a little.
- Scatter the cooked onion over the bottom of the crust and top with roasted vegetables, arranging them evenly. Scatter some dried time over the vegetables. Next, dot the veg with small chunks of both cheeses and then with the tomato halves, cut-side up.
- Whisk the eggs and cream in a small bowl with some salt and pepper. Carefully pour this mix into the tart; the top layer of tomatoes and cheese should remain exposed. Scatter some more thyme on top. Place in the oven and back for 40-45 minutes, or until the filling sets and turns golden. I broiled mine on high for the last 2 minutes to give it nice color.
- Remove and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before releasing from the pan and serving.