Slow-Roasted Tomato, Eggplant and Zucchini Tapanade Tarts with Gorgonzola

I love a good tart. This one offers plenty of flavour, with a punchy green olive and red pepper tapanade, sweet tomatoes and earthy eggplant and zucchini. The tart crust was a bit of a baking ‘first-time’ for me. Using Raymond Blanc’s base recipe for bulghur wheat pastry I added freshly grated parmesan and thyme to give it additional point of interest and flavour. The pastry was quite wet and I found it needed longer than Blanc’s direction of 8-10mins blind-baking in the oven or perhaps a little more wholemeal flour to dry it out slightly. All in all though, the bulghur, parmesan and thyme pastry had a nuttiness that paired well with the flavours of the tart filling.

100g bulghur wheat

100 ml water

1 tbsp olive oil

Pinch of salt

Wholemeal flour

½ zucchini (sliced on diagonal)

½ eggplant (sliced)

1 large red tomato (sliced)

1 cup parmesan

Olive oil

Thyme (fresh or dried)


Lemon zest

½ cup green olives (pitted)

1 roasted red capsicum (roasted and skin removed – chopped roughly)

¼ cup breadcrumbs

½ tsp balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp Gorgonzola

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Bulghur Wheat Pastry

Place the bulghur wheat into a bowl a cover with boiling water. Cover bowl with cling film, and leave to stand for an hour until the bulghur absorbs the water. Blend together the bulghur, oil and salt, parmesan, and thyme in a food processor until it forms a ball, adding a little bit of wholemeal flour if the dough is too wet and sticky. Turn out onto a sheet of cling film, wrap and chill for at least 15mins or until needed.

Green Olive Tapanade

In a food processor blend together the olives, capsicum, breadcrumbs, balsamic vinegar, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Set aside.

Tart filling

Toss the tomato, zucchini and eggplant in a bowl with a pinch of sea-salt and a few good glugs of olive oil. Spread out on a baking tray and roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 10-15mins.

Roll out the chilled pastry dough with the aid of a little wholemeal flour and line the tart pan – making sure to press the dough uniformly into the pan by pressing across the bottom and working towards the sides and up to form a rim. Place in the refrigerator for 15mins. Place on a baking tray and back in the preheated oven for 8-10mins (on trying the recipe again I would increase this time to 10-15mins until the pastry is a deep golden brown in colour). Let cool to room temperature before filling.

When the tart shell has cooled, spread the tart shell with the tapanade and then layer the roasted vegetables over the tapanade. Dot the top of the tart with the gorgonzola and lemon zest.

Bake the tart in the oven for 15-20mins or until cheese has melted. Remove and sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper and the remaining lemon zest. Drizzle with your best quality extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with fresh flat-leaf parsley. Serve at room temperature.

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