Mediterranean Vegetable Tart

Whilst you could use mushrooms and leeks in this tart, I usually make it with courgettes, red peppers and aubergines, together with the tomatoes, for an impressive tart full of bright Mediterranean colours and flavours. Fennel too would be a good addition. It should be quartered and blanched first until reas-onably tender; otherwise, it will not cook in the same time as the other ingredients. Courgettes I blanch whole, and then slice, unless they are no more than little-finger length, in which case I halve them lengthways.

Aubergines are best lightly cooked, grilled or roasted before using in the tart. Shredded mint or basil add the final touches.

Ingredients

  • 300 g (10 oz) bread dough – see previous recipe
  • 2 aubergines
  • 3 or 4 large courgettes
  • 4 large red peppers
  • 8 large ripe tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • mint or basil, shredded

Method

Prepare the dough and line the tart tin or baking sheet as above. You could also use a paella pan, roasting pan, Swiss roll tray, or any other broad, flat container that will go into the oven. A pizza tray or stone is, of course, ideal.

Slice and grill the aubergines until just beginning to soften. Parboil the courgettes, and peel the peppers. You can do this by holding them over a gas flame until charred, or quarter and roast them. Cut the core out of the tomatoes, and squeeze out the seeds. These can be sieved and the juice used for tomato vinaigrette.

Brush the dough with olive oil, and arrange the vegetables on it. Dribble on a little more olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Bake in the centre of a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/ gas mark 6 for 45 to 50 minutes. Serve warm or hot.

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