Swirly Vegetable Tart

I have seen this tart before on a couple of occasions, but I think I got the final push in making it from a couple of pictures posted on some Russian social media. There, it was referred to as ‘harmony’ vegetable pie or, maybe, using a similarly evocative and pompous name. Now, seeing as we are not in the 80’s anymore, disco balls are not the latest fad and fashionistas have (finally, I must say) given up on flared trousers, my version will simply be called swirly vegetable tart. That’s all it is, really, no bells and whistles. The hardest thing about this tart is arranging the slices of vegetables, the most satisfactory one – at least for me – was cutting through it, to see the even layers of colour. Pure bliss.

You will need vegetable which are roughly of the same size. This can prove difficult as sometimes you can only find tiny carrots and gargantuan courgettes. That said, anyway, some slices are bound to be thinner/larger than others, but simply because in order to obtain equal slices you would need to only use the core of, say, 10 carrots and just as many courgettes. A bit of a waste if you ask me. Use a vegetable peeler rather than attempting the slicing with a knife: not only is it faster and cleaner, but you will also get thinner slices and these will cook faster. The filling contains, guess what, Greek yogurt! I am so passionate about it I would eat it on its own. I believe it lends a certain acidity and tang to the final product, but if you’re feeling over-conscious or you don’t like the stuff, feel free to swap it for sour cream, double cream or cream cheese.

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Ingredients

  • 500g homemade shortcrust pastry
  • 2 large courgettes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 5 large eggs
  • 100g Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. My suggestion is that you start slicing the vegetables only once the tart crust is blind baking, otherwise they might dry out too much and won’t stick together when you try to layer them. Therefore, pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Roll out to the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin, then use to line a 23cm fluted tart tin. Press with your fingers in the indentations to ensure the pastry falls into place, then run the rolling pin over the edge to remove the excess pastry. Use your fingers to gently ease the pastry slightly higher than the tin, then cover with clingfilm and chill for a good 30 minutes.
  3. Blind bake the pastry case with beans/rice/weights for about 15 minutes, then remove the beans/rice/weights and bake for another 15 minutes, until dry and crisp.
  4. In the meantime, use a vegetable peeler to peel ribbons from the carrots and courgettes, then set them aside. You don’t have to keep on working on one side only, feel free to turn your vegetable as you are peeling. In the case of the courgettes, this will ensure there are slices with plenty of green on.
  5. When the pastry case is ready, start laying the vegetable slices inside and vertically, leaning them on the pastry case. Needless to say, it’s easier if you build them towards the centre. It will take a while and it might look like you’re building layer after layer and not going anywhere, but stick with it. If you run out of vegetable slices when you reach the middle of the pastry case, use peppers or some herbs to decorate the hole.
  6. In a jug or a bowl, mix the eggs with the Greek yogurt and some seasoning, then gently pour onto the tart, ensuring the egg mixture fills all of the gaps in between the vegetable slices and evens out on the top. Bake the tart for 40 minutes, until golden on top. Remove from the oven and let it cool to room temperature, then enjoy!

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