Roasted Vegetable Tarts


Oven roasted vegetables and meaty Portabello mushrooms blend with a lemony ricotta filling in these elegant puff pastry tarts. Just before serving, they are brightened with a piquant dressing flecked with tart capers and fresh thyme.

The tarts are perfectly straight-forward but you’ll need to plan ahead, as the ricotta needs to be strained overnight (or at least four hours). If using commercial puff pastry, you’ll need to and thaw the pastry before using.

Roasted Vegetable Tarts

Makes Eight 4" Tarts


■ 1 cup ricotta cheese, strained*
■ 1/2 cup (about 3 ounces) crumbled feta
■ Zest from one lemon, plus 11/2 Tbsp lemon juice
■ Kosher salt
■ 1 3/4 pounds of vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes and/or shallots) or 8 portobello mush-rooms, sized to fit neatly in the tarts, as pictured
■ 1 lightly beaten egg
■ 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed if using mushrooms
■ 1 Tbsp butter, if using mushrooms

*Place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Line it with cheesecloth and add the ricotta. Cover and refrigerate a few hours, preferably overnight. Discard any excess liquid.


■ 1lb commercial frozen Puff Pastry or Handcrafted Puff Pastry
■ Flour for dusting the dough
■ 1 egg, lightly beaten
■ 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese


■ 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
■ 1/4 cup vegetable oil
■ 1 clove garlic, finely minced
■ 1 tsp fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
■ 2 anchovies, rinsed, drained and finely minced (optional)
■ 1 tsp capers, roughly chopped
■ 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
■ Kosher salt


Prepare the Puff Pastry according to the instructions. If using commercial puff pastry thaw ac-cording to the instructions on the package, before using.

Working with half the pastry (½ lb) at a time, place the dough onto a flour-dusted work surface (if the dough is sticky, place it onto sheet of parchment paper dusted with flour instead).

Roll the dough into a 10 x 10-inch square, ⅛ inch thick. Then into four equal squares (5 x 5 inch-es).

Brush the border of each square with the lightly beaten egg, then fold the edges over, about ¾ inch, to create an edge. Score the corners of each square with an X using the dull side of your knife. Finally, poke holes into the base of each tart (as pictured).  If the dough becomes too soft to work with at any time, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm.

Place the pastry squares onto a tray or plate lined with parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 40 minutes. Alternatively, wrap the squares of dough in plastic and refrigerate 40 minutes.

Preheat oven 400° F.

Place the chilled squares of dough onto a parchment-lined baking tray (if they’re not already on one), leaving an inch or more between each. Dust the base of each tart with a rounded teaspoon of Parmesan cheese. Brush the edges with the remaining beaten egg.

Bake in a pre-heated oven, 10-15 minutes, or until golden and cooked through, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The pastries will puff in the oven, then settle as they cool.

Cool on a wire rack.

Cheese Filling

In a small bowl, combine the strained ricotta cheese, crumbled feta, lemon zest, lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt. Set aside.

Roasted Vegetables

Cauliflower, mini carrots, tomatoes and/or shallots: Peel, chop and slice your selected vegetables into pieces no larger than 3 inches. Spread the vegetables onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle evenly with a pinch, about ¼ tsp, kosher salt.

Roast in a 400°F preheated oven 25-30 minutes, or until tender, rotating the pan to promote even browning. Check the vegetables after 8-10 minutes; if using a combination of vegetables, some will need to be removed earlier than others. Alternatively, roast each variety separately to ensure they cook evenly.

If using Portabello Mushrooms Clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth. Remove and reserve the stems for another use. Heat 1 Tbsp oil and 1 Tbsp butter in a medium skillet (preferably non-stick). Add the mushrooms, without crowding the pan, gills facing down. Cook over medium heat until the caps have softened slightly. (They will shrink as they cook.) Turn the mushrooms over and sprinkle each with a pinch of kosher salt. Continue to cook, adding additional butter/oil if stick-ing, until the mushrooms are tender. Reserve any liquid that accumulates (it will be added to the tart).

Putting It All Together

Fill each tart with 2-3 tablespoons of the ricotta and feta mixture. Top with your choice of roasted vegetables. If using mushrooms, place the gills facing up and drizzle with the reserved mushroom liquid.

Reheat the tarts in a 400°F oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese mixture has warmed through.

Dressing: In a small container, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Just before serving, re-whisk the dressing and drizzle over the vegetables. Garnish with thyme leaves.

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