I had made these last Monday as a part of my meat free Monday series...Truth be told, I secretly look forward to meat free Mondays.. you want to know why a carnivore like me (sorry, but there is simply no point sugar coating it) would be secretly looking forward to meat free days???
Purely as a challenge to myself!! To my self control...and to my hone my culinary skills.. !
Well if you thought it wasn't easy being green, think how tough it must be to cook something green...
It literally gives me the creeps... I am not good at vegetable eating....If you have read my hassleback potatoes www.lapetitchef.blogspot.in/hassleback-potatoes
post you will know precisely what I am talking about... But that doesn't mean I cant cook veg!!
Hey I just don't like your regular veggie fare...but I have more than my share of legumes, paneer and mushrooms on these days...
However, for this Monday, I decided to take the challenge up a notch and make something totally new to me...
Well, I am not a tart virgin... I have eaten them loads of times.. I have adored quiches and tarts for as long as I remember...In fact, Leela Palace's Chai Bar used to know me as the quiche girl ;)
That being said, I had never made one before...
But I am so glad I did!!
Coz deliciousness comes in all forms...and it came as near about perfection in the form of this veggie delight tartlette..
I simply love individual sized portions these days...don't you ?? Be it tiny lil cake pops, to individually flavoured cupcakes with different toppings..starting from a mini dosa to single pan meals.. its all about small portions.. and keeping that in mind, I simply couldnt resist the thought of making these delicious flavourful tartlettes!
P ( my husband to u folks) was on leave for a couple of days...and we did our share of cooking and eating. And cooking. And eating. And
eating. On Monday, we were trying to figure out how
to use a bunch of cherry tomatoes picked from my garden.
They were lusciously ripe and begging to be featured in something
special, and after we hemmed and hawed over pasta, frittata, and
bruschetta possibilities…we wound up deciding to make a tart.
It would be one of the best decisions either of us has ever made.
Ahh…the bounty! You can not believe the flavor of these babies. Tomato deliciousness through and through.
And then we decided to take it up a notch further..and overdosed the deliciousness with the addition of Red and Yellow Bell Peppers!!
do want the tart to sit for a few minutes before you serve it, so you
have time to grab some basil leaves, cut them into a chiffonade…
And sprinkle it all over the tart.
Absolute glory. It just screams summer.( which in India means pretty much all the yr around)
Now remove from the tart tins..
And serve it up.
verdict? This was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. The
crust was cooked perfectly, the cheese was just the right amount, the
caramelized onions sent the flavor through the roof, the tomatoes and peppers
were roasted and glorious..and the spices and basil simply made it Perfect! P and I polished off almost half of it
Monday evening, and by noon Tuesday, it was completely gone.
You’ll love this, my friends!
For the CRUST :
- 1/2 cup mix of butter and vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 whole Egg
- 3 Tablespoons Cold Water
- 1/2 Tablespoon White Vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
In a large bowl, with your fingers, gradually work the butter and oil
into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse
meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the
flour/shortening mixture. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water, 1/2
tablespoon of white vinegar and /2 teaspoon of salt. Stir together
gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough into 6 balls. Separating it
will result in three thin crusts. If you prefer a more substantial
crust, separate it in half.. Form 6 evenly sized balls of dough and
place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly
flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier
later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them.
(If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in
the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the
freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the
dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some
flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is
sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it
up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger
in diameter than your pie pan.
With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the
counter into the tart pan/mould. Gently press the dough against the edges of
the pan. Go around the tart pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a
Make the filling.Proceed as mentioned below.
For the FILLING:
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 whole Large Onions, Halved And Sliced Thin
- Salt And Pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup Grated Mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup Grated Cheddar (Smoked)
- 1cup Cherry Tomatoes (yellow Or Red), Washed And Dried (more If Needed)
- yellow and red bell pepper (chopped fine)
- 1 whole Egg
- 1/4 cup Milk
- 6-7 whole Basil Leaves, Chiffonade (more If Needed)
- Spices (Oregano, Italian seasoning, and red chillie flakes)
- Olive oil
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the butter,
onions, salt, and pepper and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring
occasionally, until the onions are soft and deep golden brown. Set
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Bring out the prepared tart moulds.
Sprinkle on the cheeses in a single layer, then lay on the
caramelized onions, then sprinkle the tomatoes and bell pepper over the cheese.
Sprinkle the spices and drizzle a little olive oil on each tartlette.
Mix together the egg and milk in a small bowl and brush it all over
the crust around the edge of the tart.
Bake the tart for 15 to 18
minutes, watching carefully to make sure the crust doesn't burn.
tomatoes should be starting to burst apart, with some dark/roasted areas
on the skin, and the crust should be deep golden brown.) If the crust
is getting brown too fast, reduce the heat.
Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the basil all over the top.
Remove from moulds and serve them!!
I think it looks fine, and I’m generally not concerned about my pies
looking absolutely perfect. What I care about is how much the finished
pie makes my "P" Man moan. Now that’s my measure of success.
I wanted to caramelize the onions so they’d add some nice, deep flavor to the tart.There is nothing better than sweet, caramelized onions in a pie..It takes its sweet time.So do not rush it.
I used what I had on hand, but so many different cheeses would work: you want a nice melted cheese
combined with a cheese or two that are a little on the sharp side.
Basically, you can use whatever pie crust recipe your heart tells you to use. Just make sure it’s a generous one.
Just remember: roll from the center, outward in one stroke. Don’t do the
old Play-Dough back-and-forth, back-and-forth maneuver. Pie crust dough
doesn’t like it.
You can of course add a whole range of things to it..my favorites would be chicken, mushrooms and olives(was out of olives that day,if you can believe it! )