About this recipe:This is a great picnic or summer lunch time recipe that sits fantastically alongside new potatoes and salads. I found this recipe in a newspaper years ago and have since lost the original, but it has now evolved into this mainstay of my summer repertoire.
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:25min › Extra time:15min › Ready in:55min
Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
Defrost the puff pastry and roll out. Lightly oil the base of a roasting tin, and lay out the puff pastry for a free form tart. You can do this as a circle if you prefer. Spread the teaspoon of mustard over the puff pastry.
Slice the aubergine into thin slices and then halve. Salt lightly and leave to drain bitterness out of aubergine for 10 minutes, then wash off and drain in colander.
Finely chop the garlic; remove the stalks and seeds from the peppers and cut into strips, then cut these into 2cm long pieces.
Thinly slice the courgettes lengthways and discard the ends.
To prepare the tomatoes, plunge them into boiling hot water for a few seconds, remove then peel off the skin. Slice thinly, halve and remove the watery seeds.
Fry the peppers lightly until caramelised and place on a plate. Fry the aubergines, browning lightly on each side and place on a plate for later use. Next lightly brown the courgette slices.
Now prepare the tart: do a row of tomatoes at each end of the tart, then working inwards to the centre layer a row of aubergines, with the aubergine slice slightly overlapping the tomatoes. Repeat until you get to the centre. In the centre, place some of the courgettes lengthways and randomly sprinkle over the top with the peppers to create a nice, pretty look. If you have made the tart on a circle of puff pastry, just amend this step by working the layers inwards to a central section of courgettes.
Put the slice of bread, garlic, parsley, sea salt and black pepper into a food processor and process until you get to a fine breadcrumb. Sprinkle these flavoured breadcrumbs over the vegetables and then drizzle all over with olive oil.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry has risen and is a light brown.
Eat immediately or serve cold with new potatoes and a summer salad, or enjoy at work for healthy lunchtime eating.
I like to caramelise the vegetables first, but you could put then directly onto the puff pastry base first, which would save a lot of prep time, and then cook a little bit longer.
Salting the aubergines gets out the bitter chemical taste in aubergines. It comes out as a green liquid that looks like washing up liquid which you wash away and then pat the aubergines dry before frying them.