Sometimes – all I am craving is vegetables. Have you ever just wanted sautéed squash, or salted steamed broccoli? I have. Growing up, I never really had the misfortune of being forced to eat anything I didn’t want to. I also never really got a bad vegetable as a youngster either. No boiled spinach horror stories from me. As a result I have a very strong love of vegetables. Never met one I didn’t like.
1 piece puff pastry rolled out to 8” x 10”
Vegetables which may include: red bell peppers, leeks, broccoli rabe, shallot, roasted beet
sunflower oil 1 – 2 tablespoons
salt & pepper to taste – just a sprinkle really.
Vegetable tarts like this one are great because they are so versatile. You pretty much use whatever you have. Don’t have roasted beets around? Well don’t worry, and just leave them out. I find it’s easier to just leave some things out rather than worrying about putting them in.
The other day, in addition to craving vegetables, I was really desiring to make some puff pastry. So as I was rolling out the dough and thinking about what I was going to make, it suddenly struck me to simply make a vegetable tart. I like the alliteration of Puff Pastry Pizza better than tart, so that’s why I’m calling it that. Pizza, tart whatever you wish.
So it really couldn’t be simpler to make this. If you don’t feel like making puff pastry, just buy some.
I took some broccoli rabe, leeks, red bell peppers, roasted beet, and shallot. I cut them down into fairly large pieces – this tart is going to take about 30 – 35 minutes to bake, so you don’t want anything too small. Toss everything with some sunflower oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Take your puff pastry and roll it out to about a 8” x 10” piece. This is just an approximation, but having the puff pastry thinner, will help it cook quicker and more thoroughly. The true test to one of these types of dishes is whether or not the crust holds up and is “servable” or does it just kind of bend over like a gone by flaccid piece of celery. I’m super picky when it comes to pastry and I hate doughy underbaked pastries to no end. Anywho – take your pastry and put it on a lined baking sheet. I like silpats, they are good forever. Mine is 11 years old. No joke. Parchment paper is fine too.
Time to start layering the vegetables. Really there is no wrong way to do this. For me you want a nice attractive spreading of all of the vegetables, so that a serving would have a little bit of each one. Small things like leeks will tend to get very brown if you put them on top so sneak some into the bottom layer of things. Don’t be worried if the pile seems somewhat high. Most of the veggies will shrink down a bit during the baking process. Make sure to leave a little bit of naked pastry around the perimeter edge of the “pizza”
This is one of those recipes that you can make ahead up until the baking part a few hours in advance. Just put in the fridge to chill. I had to perch mine dangerously in a very full fridge, but it didn’t fall!
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes. I put one of the oven racks in one of the lower positions in the oven. You really want to get the pastry nice and well baked on the bottom. Baking this in a lower position in the oven will help the pastry stay closer to a heat source during baking. This will ensure you get a nice golden well baked crust.
After 30 – 35 minutes, enjoy!!