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Market shopping and a tart

April 28, 2011

roasted vegetable tartFood shopping at a market is different from the supermarket kind.  When I usually set off for the shops I’m clutching a list and have a few recipes for meals in mind.  When you enter a market, the produce leads the way.

I met up with a group of friends (who also all happen to be food bloggers) at the Souk al Bahar famer’s market recently.  We based ourselves in Baker & Spice, tucked into their fabulous range of pastries (no photo of my almond croissant as I ate it so quickly) and had a session of swapping photography knowledge.  Then we made forays out in to the market which was in full swing outside.  It’s not a big market but the producers are enthusiastic and the choice and variety fresher and more unique than anything you can find in the shops here.

Vegetables from market

The time flew by and we all learnt a huge amount from each other.  Baker & Spice were really welcoming to our group as we stuck our lenses into their gorgeous food and the manager kindly picked up the bill.

inside Baker & Spice

Mucking about with my camera in B&S

My basket from the market included deep purple shiny peppers, slender baby leeks, Greek and Genovese basil, aubergines, stripy beef tomatoes and tiny cherry tomatoes and a punnet of mulberries which tasted of honey and lychees.  The free-range chicken sold out before I could buy one (you choose them live).  The produce is very reasonably priced and super fresh.  There are only a few weeks left before the market closes for the season.

Farmers market

So what did I do with my lovely goodies?  The mulberries were nearly all eaten on the way home.  Leeks made a beautiful gratin (with toasted cheese sauce), the tomatoes were stuffed, as were most of the peppers and the remainder turned into this tart with the aubergines and cherry tomatoes.

Roasted vegatable tart

The Art of the Tart by Tamasin Day Lewis is the cookery book I turn to most often.  There is something so satisfying about buttery pastry often filled with a sweet or savoury custard and other glorious flavours.  But Ottolenghi’s Plenty was my inspiration this time adapting the ingredients to my shopping basket and cupboard.

I’m sending this over to Cook Sister who is hosting this month’s Mingle themed  ‘Topless Tarts’ (brainchild of Meeta of What’s for lunch, Honey?) You can see everyone else’s tarts here.

Roasted vegetable tart –  recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty


2 purple peppers (or whatever colour you have)
2 large red chilli peppers (mild)
Olive oil
1/2 butternut squash, diced
1 aubergine, diced
1 small courgette, diced
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
300g shortcrust pastry (I made this with 300g plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 160g butter)
8 thyme sprigs picked
120g ricotta
120g feta
7 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 eggs
200ml double cream
Salt and black pepper

roasted vegetable tart

Preheat oven to 230C .

Remove the stalk and seeds of the large peppers and place on a ovenproof dish or baking tray.  Pierce the chilli peppers and add to the dish. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and place it in the oven.

Mix diced aubergine with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt pepper. Bake in oven

After about 12 minutes, add the diced butternut squash to the aubergine tin and roast for a further 10 minutes. At this point the peppers should be brown and remainder of vegetables cooked. Reduce the oven to 160C.

Whilst the vegetables are roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Saute the onions with bay leaves for 25 minutes until they turn brown and soft. Remove from heat and discard bay leaves.

Lightly grease a tart tin or baking dish. Roll out the pastry to 3mm and line the tin leaving some hanging over the rim. Line the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beads before blind baking for 30 minutes. Remove the beads, and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Spread the onion on the bottom of the pastry and top with roasted vegetables (with the peppers cut into pieces and the chilli peppers seeds removed) and thyme leaves. Scatter chunks of both cheeses and then tomato halves cut-side up.

Whisk the eggs and cream together in a bowl with salt and pepper and carefully and evenly pour this mixture into the case. Bake for 35-50 minutes until the filling sets and rest for 10 minutes before serving.  When slightly cool, cut the overhanging pastry level with the top of the tin.

bread and jams

Braun Multiquick giveaway – I wrote all the names of people who commented on a piece of paper and added duplicates for Tweets and Facebook comments.  Then I closed my eyes and pulled one out of the bag.  I am delighted to announce that the winner of the Braun Multiquick is Grace.  Congratulations Grace – I hope you enjoy your new and useful gadget.

roasted vegetable tart

  1. April 28, 2011 12:22 am

    Fabulous market shots and what a nice little exploration of culture! The tart looks wonderful… It must be tart season- I nearly made one this week (been craving savory tarts), but last minute drove down the galette-road ;-). Thanks for the inspiration- I have some good looks tomatoes that could be put to this use.

  2. April 28, 2011 12:31 am

    Looks fabulous ! i am trying to find the abudhabi counterpart for a market ! I am so stalking you next time you go :)… lovely dish ! will try it soon 🙂

  3. April 28, 2011 1:11 am

    Amazing post, what a lovely way to spend the day. And I don’t suppose that it gets much fresher than chosing a live chicken!!! The tart looks great, a lovely recipe. Now I am feeling very, very bad about not making my own pastry…

  4. April 28, 2011 1:36 am

    I’m so glad you posted this, I just blogged the other day about how little success I have with tarts. This one looks mouthwatering. You’ve given me lots of ideas and I will have to get the Tamsin Day Lewis book, I think.

    The market looks like a great place to shop too.

  5. April 28, 2011 1:59 am

    Please please please can I come to the market with you? I just love markets. And feel free to send the tart my way, too!

  6. April 28, 2011 3:18 am

    That market looks amazing, I bet the shopping was amazing 🙂
    I have had very little luck with this type of pastry (I just know it has something against me, I just know it :D), so I’ll just be admiring your tart :))

  7. April 28, 2011 3:35 am

    So very true – definitely have to let go and let the food speak first. This tart definitely speaks wonderfully.

  8. April 28, 2011 4:07 am

    It’s interesting to note that with a few exceptions farmers’ markets are similar, no matter where they are. Are those green (wormy, prickly-looking) things the mulberries? I’m not familiar with then.

    Love the tart!

  9. April 28, 2011 9:29 am

    Oh I wish we had markets like that – I would spend the whole day there.
    Your roasted vegetable tart sounds incredible.
    🙂 Mandy

  10. April 28, 2011 12:18 pm

    Market is the first place I go when visitting another town. I love reading about your market adventures! Sally, you made me crave for this tart now, you are so bad! 😉

  11. April 28, 2011 12:55 pm

    Thank you very much Sally and Lady Luck for drawing my name!! I am so excited to use the new kitchen gadget.

    I am so drooling with that tart picture over there. The farmer’s market – I will definitely be going once it’s open again in November!

  12. April 28, 2011 7:06 pm

    Look at those gorgeous shots!! I’m SO jealous of your pastry crust, it looks beeeeautiful and the tart is just the kind of the thing that I’d want to eat…NOW.

    I’m sad, I so want that tart.

  13. April 30, 2011 9:10 am

    Gorgeous looking tart! You choose the chickens live? That must be an interesting experience.. 😉

  14. May 3, 2011 11:20 pm

    Love the colours in the tart, and the inviting cheese topping. Markets are great!

  15. May 5, 2011 9:10 am

    Your tart looks sublime and what a beautiful blog you have, I’m delighted to discover you 🙂

  16. May 5, 2011 9:53 am

    Well doesn’ that tart look buttery and flaky. You farmer’s market photos came out gorgeous Sally.

  17. May 5, 2011 12:07 pm

    I wish we had markets here – I loved the spice market in Dubai 🙂 What a lovely tart!

  18. May 8, 2011 2:10 pm

    What a wonderful trip to the souk and a great way to use the produce, thanks for the submission!

  19. May 12, 2011 4:26 pm

    The tart is beautiful. I am always looking for recipes for my extra tomatoes (and other veggies) during CSA season. Thanks for sharing!

  20. September 29, 2011 4:12 pm

    What beautiful produces. That tart looks amazing and I bet it tastes just divine.



  21. March 29, 2014 3:12 am

    I have one word for your blog: WOW! You’re doing an amazing job on the cooking and on the photography! I’m so excited to start following you along and make some of those delicious recipes you’re sharing on here!


  1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  2. Topless tarts everywhere: the Monthly Mingle roundup - Cooksister

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