A slice of veggie heaven! Roasted Mediterranean vegetable tart

You won’t miss the meat at all in all these hearty and flavoursome dishes, in our second extract from the new vegetarian cookbook by Prue Leith and her chef niece Peta…  

This recipe uses peppers, aubergine, onions and tomatoes to create a delicious veggie tart

This recipe uses peppers, aubergine, onions and tomatoes to create a delicious veggie tart

This recipe uses peppers, aubergine, onions and tomatoes to create a delicious veggie tart

This is a brilliant vegetarian main course, and the variations are endless: in winter you could swap in roasted pumpkin, use sage instead of parsley, add grated cheese, or top with goat’s cheese or feta. It keeps brilliantly, makes great picnic food served cold, and feeds a crowd.

Serves 8

For the pastry 

  • 140g (5oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra butter for greasing 
  • 225g (8oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting 
  • A pinch of salt 90-100ml (3½fl oz) iced water

For the filling

  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into large bite-sized pieces 
  • 1 small aubergine, diced 
  • 2 red onions, peeled and quartered 
  • 1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled and roughly chopped 
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper  
  • 200g (7oz) cherry tomatoes 
  • 1 courgette, cut into large bite-sized pieces 
  • A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

For the custard

  • 1½tbsp plain flour 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 150ml (5fl oz) double cream 
  • 120ml (4fl oz) whole milk

For the pastry, put the butter, flour and salt in a mixing bowl and rub the butter into the flour lightly using your fingertips. 

Stop when there are still pea-sized pieces of butter visible in the mixture (do not rub it all the way to breadcrumb consistency).

Add the water and use a butter knife to mix it to a shaggy dough. Handling it as little as possible, push it together into a disc and wrap in clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour, until firm.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Combine the peppers, aubergine, onions, garlic and vegetable oil in a roasting tin, and season with salt and black pepper. 

Roast in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes, then add the tomatoes and courgette, stir everything around, and roast for a further 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir the chopped parsley in, and set aside.

Grease a deep 20cm loose-bottomed flan tin with butter. Unwrap the pastry and roll it out on a floured surface into a round 2-3mm thick. 

Line the greased flan tin with it, ensuring there are no holes and that it is the same thickness all over. 

Leave extra pastry overhanging the sides and chill for 30 minutes. After that time, neatly trim away the edges of the pastry.

Tip 

This tart is delicious hot or cold, but if you want to reheat it then do so in a warm oven – using a microwave will make the pastry go soggy. 

Line the pastry shell with baking parchment and fill it to the top with baking beans or dry rice, then blind-bake for 25-30 minutes, until light golden and cooked through. 

Remove it from the oven, remove the baking parchment and beans or rice and return to the oven for 2-3 minutes to crisp up.

To make the custard, whisk the flour and eggs together until smooth, then add the cream and milk and pass through a fine sieve. Season with salt and black pepper.

Fill the cooked pastry case with the roasted vegetables, then pour the custard all over. 

Return it to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the custard is completely set and the top is golden. 

Remove from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a serving plate. Serve immediately. 

Extracted from The Vegetarian Kitchen by Prue Leith & Peta Leith, published by Bluebird on 20 February, £25. © Prue Leith and Peta Leith. To order a copy for £17.99 go to mailshop.co.uk or call 01603 648155. P&P free. Offer valid until 31 March, 2020