Last week, Z and I went to Z's godfather's house to check out his brand new kitchen. While there, I spent more time swooning over the Jerusalem and Plenty cookbooks (by Yotam Ottolenghi) he had out on the counter. I've been hearing a lot of good things about these cookbooks...and now I can see why. The photos are gorgeous and the recipes are impressive yet approachable. So, when Z's godfather asked if I wanted to borrow one of them, I quickly said yes.
The book I ended up borrowing was Plenty, and I decided to make a variation of the Very Full Tart recipe when my cousins came over for dinner. Knowing everyone at the table loved all things eggs, vegetables, and cheese, I knew this would be a hit. And it was.
Very Full Tart
Yields: 2 tarts (8-10 servings)
Adapted from Plenty
-2 red bell peppers*
-2 yellow bell peppers*
-2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
-Salt and pepper
-2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
-2 bay leaves
-8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
-2 frozen deep-dish pie crusts
-2/3 cup whole milk ricotta
-8 ounces feta
-4 medium eggs
-2 cups heavy cream
1.) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Use a small serrated knife to cut around the stems of the peppers and lift it out along with the seeds. Shake the peppers to remove any remaining seeds. Place the peppers in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with a little of the olive oil, and put on the top shelf of the oven.
2.) After 12 minutes, place the cut sweet potatoes on a baking sheet in an even layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Place in the oven on the rack underneath the peppers. After about 12 more minutes, turn the peppers and toss the potatoes to ensure everything cooks evenly.
3.) After an additional 10-12 minutes, the peppers and potatoes should be cooked. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Cover the peppers with foil and cool, then peel and slice into strips.
4.) Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Saute the onions with the bay leaves and some salt for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they turn brown, soft, and sweet. Remove from the heat, discard bay leaves, and set aside.
5.) In a separate, smaller pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms, and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
6.) Scatter the cooked onion evenly over the bottom of both crusts and top with roasted vegetables and mushrooms. Scatter thyme leaves over. Next, dot the vegetables with small chunks of both cheeses.
7.) Whisk the eggs and cream in a bowl with some salt and pepper. Carefully pour this mixture into the tart. Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the filling sets and turns golden. Remove and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
*You may not need all of the peppers, as the tart gets too full; I had about 1/4 of a roasted pepper left (and used it in eggs the next morning!).
This tart is chocked full of flavor - and ingredients, as you can see. The sweet peppers, onions, and potato mixed with the meaty mushrooms and tangy feta - followed by the creamy ricotta and eggs - was an incredible combination of flavors and textures. Z and I aren't usually big leftover people, but we plowed through the leftovers of this.
I highly suggest serving this rich tart with a simple green salad. We served an arugula salad on the side, and it provided a great balance to all of the tart's richness.
Also, the directions for this recipe may seem long, but these tarts were surprisingly easy to whip up within an hour or so. You could also make them ahead of time and just heat them through before serving.
Which cookbooks are you loving lately?