Recipe for Spring Vegetable and Red Pesto Tart – a great way to incorporate healthy veggies into your diet


For the pastry:
200g spelt flour
100g salted butter, cubed and chilled
4 tbsp cold water

For the dried tomato pesto:
1 tightly packed cup of dried tomatoes
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/3 cup olive oil
1 small clove of garlic
small pinch of paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
pink salt and pepper

For the filling:
1 tbsp salted butter
3 small courgettes (about 150g), grated
1 large leek, chopped
150g chard, chopped
small bunch of chives, chopped
pink salt and pepper
3 eggs
300ml almond milk
1 tsp dried Italian herbs

How to
To make the pastry: Put the spelt flour and butter in the food processor and whizz for a few seconds until the butter has been incorporated. Add the cold water and whizz for another few seconds.

Tip the contents onto your work surface and press together into a dough. Add another few drops of water if the dough is too dry. Press into a disc, wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge while you prepare the pesto and veggie filling.

To make the pesto: put the dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Cover with the boiling water and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Place the sesame seeds in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Toast the sesame seeds until golden brown.

Drain the tomatoes. Put them in the food processor with the toasted sesame seeds, olive oil, garlic, paprika and onion powder. Add a grinding of salt and pepper. Whizz for a minute or two until everything is combined and you have a thick pesto. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Fry the grated courgettes and chopped leek for a few minutes to soften. Add the chard and stir on the heat for a few minutes to wilt. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the chives and a grinding of salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven to 180°C and grease a 24cm tart tin. Dust your work surface with a little spelt flour and roll the pastry to a thickness of 3-4mm. Carefully lift the pastry into the dish and press into the edges. Cut the excess pastry away from the edges. Place a piece of crumpled baking paper over the pastry and fill with baking/dried beans. Bake the pastry for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the pastry is just cooked.

Spread the tomato pesto onto the base of the tart. Arrange the vegetable mixture on top in an even layer. Whisk the eggs and almond milk together until combined. Pour over the vegetables, then sprinkle the Italian herbs over the top.

Carefully transfer the tart to the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until the filling has set. Allow the tart to cool for a few minutes, then serve with a crunchy, organic herb salad.

Make ahead tip – the pastry, pesto and vegetables can be prepared a few hours ahead of time, simply store them in the fridge. Assemble the tart and bake when required.

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Recipe courtesy of Cupcakes and Couscous – a food blog by Teresa Ulyate