Sunday, December 2, 2012

Roasted Vegetable, Feta & Cottage Cheese Tart

     A friend made a roasted vegetable tart for afternoon tea at her house a few fortnight ago. I have been thinking of making something similar since then because I enjoyed that tart very much. Feta is a cheese that I like but I hardly buy it because I honestly forget about it when I'm at the shops. It's saltiness and texture lends itself well to salads and savoury tarts. Cottage cheese is also something I like and I tend to have a tub of it in my fridge on most days. I stir cottage cheese into baked beans, have it on toast for lunch, or on crispbread for a snack. I also use cottage cheese as an omelette filling.

      This tart was so easy to make and I didn't need a recipe for it. I looked at several recipes then decided that I can 'guestimate' the amounts of ingredients that I used. Well, it worked! This tart turned out wonderfully!

      I used a 9x7" roasting tin to bake the tart, but any similar-sized square or rectangular pan or dish will work. The base consists of ready-rolled puff pastry. The pastry has to be blind-baked before filling.   The vegetables take around 30 minutes to roast. There was no need for me to add much salt to the filling because the salt in the feta was plenty enough.

Roasted Vegetable, Feta & Cottage Cheese Tart
serves 4

2 cups courgettes, cubed
1 red pepper, cubed
2 small onions, diced
6 button mushrooms, quartered
2 tsp olive oil
sea salt

Puff pastry sheet (I used 200g)

1/4 cup cottage cheese
3 TBSP sour cream
100g feta, crumbled
1 egg
1/2 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp dried rosemary
parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 190°C
2. Toss the chopped vegetables with the olive oil and place on a baking tray.
3. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the vegetables and put in the preheated oven to roast.
4. After 10 minutes, remove the mushrooms from the oven and put aside.
5. Return the rest of the vegetables to the oven to roast for another 20 minutes.

6. Line a shallow baking dish with the puff pastry sheet, making sure the pastry comes up the sides of the dish. Fold down or cut off any overhanging pastry.
7. Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes then remove from the oven. 
Reduce oven heat to 180°C.

9. Mix the cottage cheese, sour cream, feta and egg in a large bowl. Stir in the paprika then add the roasted vegetables and mushrooms to the bowl.
10. Stir to coat the vegetables with the filling.
11. Pour the filling into the baked puff pastry and spread evenly.
*Cover the rim of the puff pastry with foil if you are worried about it burning
12. Sprinkle the rosemary and some pepper (and parmesan) over the filling.
13. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the filling looks set.

     This can be eaten hot or cold, whichever you prefer. That makes it a versatile dish for any time of the year and for entertaining guests as well.

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