My mum was a real hippy, and way ahead of her time. I grew up with lots of vegetarian food, and I know my mum would have loved this tart. When I was 15, I was a veggie for a year, but then I had a bite of someone’s burger and that was it! It helps to have a mandolin to slice the courgettes in this recipe, but a sharp knife also works. If you don’t want to make your own pastry then shop-bought is fine – go for a 500g packet of ready-made wholemeal pastry.
To make the pastry, put the flour and butter in a food processor with the salt and blitz together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Then add the egg yolk and pulse again until the dough starts to come together. Add the sesame seeds, and pulse, adding just enough water so that the mixture comes together to make a soft but not sticky dough, with no dry bits.
Tip the dough onto the work surface and bring it together to form a ball. Wrap the ball in cling film, squish it down a bit and then pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes, so that the mixture of proteins (gluten) in the dough can relax. This helps to ensure that the pastry will not shrink when it is cooked.
After 30 minutes, sprinkle a little flour on the work surface and roll out the pastry to the thickness of half a £1 coin (about 1.5mm). Then put the rolling pin across the centre of the dough and fold half of the dough over the rolling pin. Lift the rolling pin and dough up and place it over the tart tin. Carefully ease the pastry into the tart tin. Be really careful not to stretch or pull the pastry in any way, because if you do the pastry might shrink while it is cooked.
I like to use a little ball of pastry rolled up and dipped into flour to ease the pastry into the ‘corners’ of the tin. Take a sharp knife and trim off the excess, and then take a wooden spoon and use this to very, very gently press the pastry into the ‘flutes’ of the tin. Pop the tin into the fridge for 10 minutes to allow the pastry to rest for a second time.
Carefully draw up the edges of the parchment to remove it from the pastry and discard. Brush the base with the egg white to help to seal it and avoid a soggy bottom and then return to the oven for 5–7 minutes, or until the base feels sandy to the touch and the sides are turning a light golden brown. Once the pastry is baked, remove it from the oven and set aside. Turn the oven down to 150°C (fan 130°C/300°F/gas 2).
While the pastry is baking, prepare the filling. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and
Carefully pour the egg mixture into the cooked pastry case and then arrange a layer of the sliced courgette on top. Season the courgette slices lightly with salt and pepper and then drizzle them with a little olive oil. Return the tart to the oven and
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.