Spring is in the air – it’s sunny and breezy and fresh in Sydney. For the rest of my Northern hemisphere friends, I know it’s strange to hear of warm weather when snow is on the way for many of you! To celebrate spring I’ve made something filled with colourful vegetables: a spring vegetable tart.
It's made with eggs, plenty of fresh ricotta and slight hint of pecorino cheese. I added peas, red and yellow capsicum, green onions and encased this mix in a deliciously light phyllo dough. Of course, to enhance the flavours of the already sweet veggie blend, I added a touch of lemon and lots of chopped fresh mint, basil and parsley.
The texture of the filling was smooth and delicate with a slight bite to the vegetables. The pastry – while not ladened with butter – was still quite crunchy on the outside and became a wonderful accompaniment to the filling. Even if it’s not summery where you are this is a great way to enjoy your vegetables!
spring vegetable tart
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp sea salt
pinch black pepper
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 cup/200g fresh ricotta cheese
1/4/50g cup pecorino romano cheese
handful each chopped mint, basil and parsley
1/2 tbsp olive oil
3 sprigs green onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced finely
3/4 cup/150g fresh peas
1/2 red capsicum, chopped into small pieces
1/2 yellow capsicum, chopped into small pieces
2 green chillis, sliced
1 tbsp white wine
8 sheet phyllo dough
a few tablespoons olive oil
Before you begin this recipe – a note on phyllo dough – it’s incredibly delicate and dries out in an instant. Take out of the package, roll out sheets and place a damp tea towel on top and work as fast as you can!
Place a fry pan on medium heat, once heated add 1/2 tbsp olive oil and then add garlic, onions, capsicum and cook for 2-3 minutes, add fresh peas and chillis and then add white wine. Cook for about another 5 minutes or until peas are just cooked. Place vegetable mixture (drain juices if too wet) on plate and let cool.
In a medium sized bowl, add beaten eggs, sea salt, lemon zest, pepper, ricotta and pecorino cheese and mix well. Toss in fresh herbs and mix in cooled vegetable mixture
I used a 14 x 5 inch fluted pan (use any rectangular pan you might have). Brush pan with oil and lay one sheet of phyllo dough – you can do this any way you like – I simply folded the layers and placed slightly off centre – alternating each side so to create a bit of hangover on the sides for a crust. Once you layer the sheet of dough, brush with oil and place another – continually doing so until all sheets have been used. Add in mixture and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until mixture is set and crust is golden. Take out and sprinkle with more fresh mint.