About a year ago I pinned one of the most awesome looking vegetable tarts I have ever seen to my Pinterest board Vegetarian and Vegan Delights . Rather than the veggies being laid flat in the tart base, the slices were arranged in a spiral perpendicular to the base and the result looked amazing.
My version was not quite as amazing looking as the original Vegetable Arty Tart from Vicky’s blog Statsy , but it certainly was very tasty and I can’t wait to try this again with some other vegetable and filling combinations.
I would highly recommend using a mandolin for this one unless your knife skills are amazing, and as you will see from the images below, mine are far from it. We did once have a mandolin but got rid of it because we never used it, especially after getting the food processor, but one might be back on the wish list now. For this incarnation, I stuck with what Vicky used being zucchini, eggplant and carrot.
Slice all of the veggies into 2-4mm thick slices, or if you have knife skills as amazing as mine, one end will be 1mm, the middle 7mm and the other end 3mm. Needless to say I need some practice… or that mandolin. Once you have sliced them, try to ensure they are roughly the same height as well otherwise you will have a very bonky (yep, that’s the technical term) spiral.
You can certainly make your own pastry for this, but I decided to use one of the packets of Carême’s Sour Cream Shortcrust Pastry I purchased from the Cake Bake and Sweets Show last month. Prepare the pastry and then blind bake the tart shell, weighted down with some baking beads or lentils, until it is just about golden.
For the base of the tart, it is a combination of sour cream, mozarella (chopped into small pieces) and herbs or spices of your choice. The original recipe called for nutmeg and paprika, however my mother-in-law gave us a jar of mixed herbs from the garden so I used a teaspoon of that instead.
Place the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Spread over the pre-cooked tart shell and then set aside so you can get your spiral on.
It is good to have someone around as you will probably need a second pair of hands for this next bit. To get the tight spiral like Vicky, start with a piece of carrot in the middle coiled tightly, wrap a piece of zucchini around the carrot, and then the eggplant. Keep alternating until you have a tight coil to slide into the tart shell. To assist with transferring it, I was assembling the spiral on my cake lifter so I could easily lift and manoeuvre the veggies into the tart shell. However, because I was pretty average at slicing the veggies, I ended up assembling a loose spiral in the tart shell itself by working from the outside in. Certainly do what works best for you.
When you have finished arranging the veggies, bake in a 190°C preheated oven for 40-50 minutes. Mine took longer because the veggies were thicker so keep an eye on it as you also may need to cover the top with foil if it starts to brown too quickly.
Without the herbs or spices, you may end up with a bland tart so certainly add your favourites in there. The mixed herbs I used were certainly pronounced and made the tart extra tasty.
You can serve the tart as the main dish or even as a side, whatever your preference may be.
However you decide, it certainly is an impressive way to serve up those veggies.