Sunday, 23 September 2012

Roasted Peppers, Feta and Thyme Tart

The monsoon is on its way out, here in India. In an ironical contrast to the western hemisphere where temperatures are on their way down, the mercury in fact rises for a month or so, and then sometime in late October, you wake up one fine morning, to a certain nip in the air!! So, before the cold, cosy and snuggly days of winter, we have a spot of hot, muggy  and uncomfortable days. And for days like this, I share with you this light and vibrant tart.

 
This recipe is from one of my favourite baking books, written by Isidora Popovic, the lady behind London's famous Popina bakery. The highlight of this book, for me, is how the author uses fresh, seasonal produce along with healthier pantry ingredients in a way that not only enhances their flavour but celebrates them.

Accompanied with beautiful photographs that exude a certain rustic charm, the recipes are packed with bags of flavour that speak directly to the heart of the home baker and not a single recipe that I have tried till date has disappointed!! In fact, my very first post on this blog was adapted from the book!!


This tart is a light, refreshing alternative to the traditional tart as we know it. The buttery, short-crust pastry makes way for a lighter, healthier, olive oil pizza-dough crust. And in the filling, the egg-cream mixture is replaced by a much-appreciated Greek yoghurt-cheese (Feta and Cheddar) filling. The filling is further enhanced by the addition of roasted peppers, onions and herbs.


You know you are on to a winner, when you pop the vegetables to roast in the oven and the aroma that permeates your kitchen instantly transports you to the Mediterranean coast. And it definitely does not disappoint when it comes out of the oven. With its pizza-dough crust, it will remind you of a deep dish pizza, albeit a lighter, healthier version.

When I say it is packed with flavours, I am not exaggerating. The natural sweetness of the roasted vegetables contrasts with the sharpness of the cheese and the tanginess of the yoghurt mixture. It is then quietly helped along by the fainter notes of the garlic and the fresh herbs. Each of the components retain their unique flavour and yet come together to create this vibrant, refreshing, flavourful tart that will leave you feeling surprisingly light and satiated at the same time.


Cut yourself a slice of this tart, sit back, savour it and wash it down with an ice-cold beverage. Depending on which part of the world you live in...you'll either be wistfully looking back at summer or if you live near the tropics as I do, you can't wait to start counting down to winter!!

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Roasted Peppers, Feta and Thyme Tart

Adapted from the recipe from the book, "Popina Book of Baking" by Isidora Popovic

makes one 23-cm loose-based fluted tart tin

Ingredients:
  • 1 Pizza Dough recipe (see below)
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
  • 2 yellow peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 1/2 tsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 100 gms Cheddar, grated
  • 150 gms Greek yoghurt
  • 80 gms Feta or any sharp cheese
 
** The recipe can be easily halved. In such a case use a smaller tart tin, (I use a 17-cm tart tin) and for the egg in the pizza dough, beat an egg but use only half of the beaten egg.

Cooking Directions:
  • Pre-heat the oven to 190 deg C. Grease your tart tin.
  • In a roasting tray, mix together the peppers and onion. Drizzle with oil, season with the salt and pepper and cover the tray with aluminium foil. Roast in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, drain off the excess juice from the vegetables. Keep aside to cool.
  • Reduce the oven temp to 170 deg C.
  • Line the tart tin with the pizza dough but do not trim the edges yet. Keep aside the tin.
  • Stir the garlic, thyme, half of the Cheddar cheese, the Feta into the roasted peppers and onions and set aside.
  • Mix together the yoghurt and the remaining Cheddar (keep aside a tiny amount) in a bowl, the spoon it onto the base of the tart tin. Spread the mixture around so that the base is completely covered.
  • Scatter the roasted peppers mixture all over the yoghurt evenly and sprinkle a tiny amount of the grated Cheddar on top.
  • Now trim the excess pizza dough neatly around the edges.
  • Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
 
Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • 220 gms flour
  • 1 tsp active dried yeast
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 80 ml warm water
 
Cooking Directions:
  • Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved and creamy.
  • Mix the flour and salt in a bowl.
  • Make a well in the flour, pour in the oil, egg and yeast mixture.
  • Draw everything together into a soft dough.
  • Transfer onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes. After kneading, if it is still wet and sticky, add a little flour and knead again till the dough is soft and not sticky.
  • Keep aside and proceed with the recipe above

14 comments:

  1. That looks so appetizing! The reds and the yellows and the cheese and the herbs...

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    Replies
    1. I agree!! There is such a vibrancy about this tart.. that just adds to its overall appeal!!!

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  2. Its really sad that the monsoon is gone. I can totally picture having a slice of your delicious tart while staying tucked in on a rainy day.

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    Replies
    1. Oh I am completely experiencing withdrawal symptoms from the rains... despite the traffic and overflowing drains... i still love the season!!! :)there is a certain romanticism attached to it!!

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  3. It sounds scrumptious! I need to make more tarts.

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  4. It looks delish, almost like a pizza.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah.. it does feel and taste that way too.. like a deep dish one at that!!

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  5. Looks so lovely. Nothing as good as roasted pepper and feta combination

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    Replies
    1. Agree!! and what I liked even more about this recipe is the addition of Greek yoghurt and cheese.. such a refreshing change from the usual egg-cream combination!!!

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  6. Sarvani this looks and sounds heavenly
    I am trying to work more vegetarian meals into our menu and this one sounds perfect!
    can't wait to try it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh do try it when you can Sawsan!!! Its a really interesting vegetarian option .. and it all comes together so well!!

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