Hey, friends! So, gather round – I have an announcement to make: I now like fennel.
I’ve never really cared for the anise-licorice flavor characteristic of fennel, but I’ve worked with it a few times recently and have found like with most vegetables, the flavor really mellows once it’s been sautéed or roasted. It develops a caramelized nuttiness. Fennel’s peak season is Fall and Winter, so now is a great experiment.
This tart is perfect for cleaning our your vegetables drawer. In addition to fennel it calls for red peppers, eggplant, sweet potato, onion and tomatoes. You could probably even sneak some broccoli in unnoticed. It’s vegetarian, but very satisfying. This recipe might look cumbersome, but it’s not complicated at all. It takes a little bit of time to prep and roast the vegetables, but it’s worth it for the combination of flavors and textures. You can make your own crust or use store bought. One of my goals for 2015 is to master homemade pie crust, so I’ve made my own using Martha’s pâte brisée recipe. I’ve had good luck with this crust – just prepare the dough and let it set in the refrigerator while you roast the vegetables.
This tart is perfect as a hearty side at dinner or nice for lunch with a mixed green salad. It’s also perfect for brunch as it is intended to be served room temperature. Try it tomorrow for Meatless Monday!
Roasted Vegetable Tart
Adapted from Bon Appétit
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small sweet potato, cute into 1/2-inch cubes
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
5 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Prepare pie crust or bring store bought crust to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine red bell pepper and eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet; coat with 2 tbsp olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Roast on upper rack, stirring once, until tender, about 15 – 20 minutes. Set aside.
Place sweet potato on a baking sheet; coat with 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Roast on upper rack, stirring once, until tender, about 15 – 20 minutes. Set aside.
Arrange tomatoes, onions and fennel in single layer on a baking sheet; coat with 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Roast on upper rack, stirring once, until onions and fennel are softened and lightly caramelized, about 15 – 20 minutes. Set aside.
Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
Roll-out dough and place in a 9-inch pie plate.
Place onion and fennel mixture into the tart crust and evenly distribute. Top with eggplant, sweet potato, roasted peppers and tomatoes. Scatter 1 tsp thyme over. Top with goat cheese.
Whisk eggs and milk in a small bowl; season lightly with salt and pepper. Slowly pour egg mixture over vegetables. Scatter remaining 1 tsp thyme on top.
Bake tart until filling is set and pastry is golden brown, approximately 40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes. Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you try this recipe, please let me know by leaving a comment below or a post on the Something To Snack On Facebook page!