Thursday, September 1, 2011

Harvest Vegetable Tart

When I found this Harvest Vegetable Tart in an old issue of Light & Tasty magazine, it looked so good and was so timely with all of the garden produce that was piling up on my kitchen counter that I couldn't NOT make it.

Note: This tart is NOT a quick weeknight dinner. It involves pastry making, chopping, sauteing, mixing, and baking. But it certainly is yummy! This recipe would be perfect for a late summer brunch with friends or even a baby or bridal shower. It's pretty, impressive, and delicious.

Of course, my family enjoyed it as a Wednesday night dinner, so if you've got the time, I say, "Go for it!"

I started by making the pastry. I combined all-purpose and whole wheat flour with cornmeal, Parmesan cheese, salt, and cayenne pepper.

Then I cut in 1/2 stick of cold butter.

Next, I stirred in ice cold water by tablespoonfuls until the dough began to stick together.

After that, I dropped the stirring spoon and used my hands to work the dough until I could form it into a ball. You want to work the dough as little as possible for a tender, flaky crust. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap before placing it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

While the dough chilled, I prepared the other components of this tart.

First I gathered all of the vegetables. I am proud to say that all of these veggies were gathered from my garden and my grandma's garden save the green onions.

I sliced and chopped them all up as directed by the recipe.

Then I heated a little oil in a non-stick skillet and added the green onions and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes.

Then add the slices of eggplant. Cook for 5 minutes or until the eggplant softens, then set aside to cool.

While the eggplant cooked, I whisked together the eggs and evaporated milk that hold the whole thing together. Season with salt and pepper.

To roll out the crust, I placed the dough on a piece of waxed paper.

Then I covered it with another sheet of waxed paper and rolled it out to fit a 9 inch pan. A tart pan is recommend for this recipe (after all, it is a tart!). However, I still don't have a tart pan, so I opted for my trusty Pampered Chef springform pan. Peel off one of the sheets of paper and press the pastry down into the pan.

Then carefully peel away to top sheet of waxed paper.

Line the pastry with a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil and put it into a 450 degree oven to bake for 8 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes, uncovered.

Remove the crust from the oven and lower the heat to 350 degrees.

While the oven cools, it's time to build the tart. Start with the eggplant. Arrange the slices with the green onions and garlic over the bottom of the tart.

Next, arrange a sliced tomato over then eggplant.

And some red and green bell pepper slices.

Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Top with 1/2 cup of frozen corn. Season with salt and pepper.

Now pour on the egg/evaporated milk mixture.

This is where things got a little "hairy". I assume that because I didn't use a tart pan, the crust shrank as it baked, decreasing the surface area that should have accommodated all of the fillings. The egg mixture ran over the sides and began to fill, then leak out of my springform pan.

Despite the filling dripping from the pan, I decided to press on. I placed a layer of aluminum foil on the bottom rack of my oven to catch the drips, then I put the tart into the oven to bake as instructed.

Luckily, it turned out great! It didn't even stick to the bottom of the pan when I removed it to a serving plate.

The only thing left to do was slice and eat!

The verdict: I loved this! The flavor of the tart was wonderful. I was tempted to eat the whole thing by myself! The eggplant provided a nice meaty/hearty element. However, if you are anti-eggplant, you might try using sliced zucchini instead. I also thought that the tart would be yummy with some mushroom slices.

My only beef was with the crust. Despite my efforts to keep it tender and flaky, I thought that the crust was a little tough. However, it tasted wonderful with the flavor of the Parmesan and that hint of heat from the cayenne pepper. I also appreciated the crunch provided by the cornmeal.

As for the rest of my family's reaction: My kiddos could not be persuaded to try this. The tart just had too many vegetables and worse yet, they were all mixed in there together (mixed veggies constitutes a "double strike" in this household). They did repeatedly comment on how great it smelled while baking, but in the end I made a freezer pizza for them. My husband, on the other hand, shared my enthusiasm for this tart. After a bout of the stomach flu early in the week, this was his first meal in 2 days. He ate slices of this tart right up!

Here's the recipe from the August/September 2006 edition of Light &Tasty magazine

Harvest Vegetable Tart
6 Servings Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 30 min.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive Oil
5 slices peeled eggplant (3-1/2 inches x 1/4 inch)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 small tomato, cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 green pepper rings
3 sweet red pepper rings
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk (I did not use fat free)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

•In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Cut in butter until
crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms
a ball. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

•Roll out pastry to fit a 9-in. tart pan with removable bottom.
Transfer pastry to pan; trim even with edge of pan. Line unpricked
pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at
450° for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer.

•In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook onions
and garlic in oil for 2 minutes. Add eggplant; cook for 4-5 minutes
or until softened. Cool for 5 minutes. Spoon into crust. Sprinkle
with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Top with tomato slices and pepper
rings. Sprinkle with corn.

•In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper; pour over
vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at
350° for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center
comes out clean. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 256 calories, 13 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 95 mg cholesterol, 691 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 9 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 fat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable.

Notes: Make this tart your own! Add in vegetables that you have in your own kitchen. If you don't have any eggplant, consider zucchini.

1 comment:


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