21 May 2006

Tricolour tarts

Tricolor tart
Cooking up something one considers a 'difficult' recipe always gives that smug satisfaction. I'm no great shakes at baking, except that I follow the instructions diligently. That, combined with sensible substitutions, has always yielded me edible results. ie. no one has wanted to play bouncing ball with my muffins or use my cakes as a cheap alternative to dental extraction !!

I've baked muffins, cookies, breads, cakes but tarts are one thing I had never tried before- probably because the amount of butter that goes into making the tart shell has never been within my 'healthy' cooking boundaries. But what the hell- sometimes it's the pride of baking a beauty, that takes more priority than counting calories. As the same time as I was having those 'tarty' thoughts at the back of my mind- I came across Estelle's Basic Tart shell recipe- which seemed like a breeze. Ideas for the filling were dime a dozen, but I just decided to use stuff that needed to be used up from my refrigerator.

Armed with a couple of 4 inch tart shells and some fresh veggies and some creative juices to top it all- and the result was these two beauties,a little rustic looking though due to the not-so-perfect shape of the shells.

The twins emerging from the oven


1/2 recipe Easy Quiche Crust (Actually this was a little less than half-froze the remaining dough)
My substitutions were one cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup all purpose flour instead of
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
Half the quantity of butter suggested
1 tsp of thick yogurt instead of creme fraiche

The dough was then spread into two, four inch tins.

For filling-
1 red onion-sliced
1 green pepper-deseeded, sliced
1 ripe tomato-deseeded, sliced
Handful of sweet corn kernels
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 T dried Italian herb mix (Oregano, basil and thyme )
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp salt

2 T Mozarella cheese-grated
1 egg white for glaze / 1 T milk
1 tsp freshly chopped basil
1 tsp olive oil

Heat the oil in a non stick pan. Add the chopped garlic, saute for 1/2 min. Don't let it turn brown / golden.
Add the remaining ingredients except cheese, egg and basil.
Saute the veggies for 3-4 min on a medium flame. They should be soft yet maintain their shape.
Fill the stuffing into the tarts. Brush with egg while / milk.
Sprinkle 1 T of grated cheese on each tart. Place in oven at 200 C for 5 min or so, until cheese melts.
Garnish with freshly chopped basil.

The shell was not too crispy and flaky because I didn't use the quanity of suggested butter. The herbed veggies made an excellent filling along with the melted Mozarella.
Serve as a side with pasta or tomato-basil soup.
You could even make these as tartlets and serve them as party snacks / appetizers.

More the number of colours in your food, the richer it is in anti-oxidants. There's yellow, red and green here and that's good enough a reason for me to send this for Cate's ARF Tuesdays.


Estelle said...

Very well done, Nandita! Your tricolour tarts look delicious. It's such a strange (and happy!) feeling to know that my recipe travelled all the way to your kitchen!

Nabeela said...

I know what you mean by taking up a difficult recipe...recently I made my very own crust for a pizza...and I couldn't believe the results!! They were awesome. So we should probably not get intimidated by difficult recipes and try everything once if not twice!

Nandita said...

I must thank you for making something like that, sound so easy and do-able. This recipe is totally dedicated to you, teacher :D

Nabeela- I couldn't agree more- everything should be tried once, in lesser quantities may be - to avoid wastage in case of a culinary disaster

Thanks for dropping by :)

Neelu said...


Sumitha said...

Oh wow this is creativity! They are like mini pizzas!Picture is wonderful too

Nandita said...

Thanks Neelu and Sumitha- actually you are right, this did taste like a thin crust pizza with loads of topping :)

Inji Pennu said...

no one has wanted to play bouncing ball with my muffins or use my cakes as a cheap alternative to dental extraction

LOL! hehehe.Couldnt stop giggling at that!

The crust part you made!!Wow! I want to badly make pastry sheets,
crusts etc but I am terrified to even attempt them!

Nandita said...

Hey LG
I have no alternative coz we don't get readymade crusts- like how Nabeela says in the earlier comment-everything is worth trying once, to get over the mind-block
Thanks for your compliments :)

Neelu said...

hey nandita...does ridge gourd means dodka ? it has hard edges ??? When i wrote the raita can be made with ridge gourd i ment ghosawla as we say in marathi which looks exactly like zucchini from outside but they r thinner n longer (8-10 inches)...i did not mean dodka that we put in sambar....I just saw ridge gourd recipe somewhere n pic did not resemble wht i had in mind :) sorry for confusion

Neelu said...

hey nandita...my recipe is made with swponge gourd n not ridge gourd...sorry for the confusion. u can c how the veg looks like at

Nandita said...

Yeah i think it is called smooth gourd too, its just like ridge gourd without the ridges

starry nights said...

Yummy, looks really good, I bet it tastes good also

Puspha said...

Looks nice.

Vineela said...

Hi nanditha,
Nice tarts.i love the recipe.Wheni will get iwill come and check your blog for preperation.

Aparna said...

hey Nandita,

Visiting here for first time. Indira introduced me to you through her blogroll. You have got a great writing style. Now that you are linked, i often visit you.

Nandita said...

Thanks Aparna! Hope to see you around- I don;t think I have visited your blog either- shall be checking out soon

Vaishali said...

I know what I am going to use that stuffing for. I am going to make small pizzetas with it. Yes, that's what I am going make. Btw, I love it when the food has many colours. I mean natural colours. Hate the artificial ones, that they put so often in Mithai and things in India. Humorous write-up, by the way.

KrishnaArjuna said...

Yummy looking tarts Nandita!!

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