Eggplant, Zucchini, Caramelised Onion and Feta Tart with Brown Rice and Almond Pastry Recipe

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Maggie's Recipe for LifeI do love pastry but it has to have real flavour as well as being a vehicle for a filling. The combination of the rice and almond crust and these wonderful summer vegetables nestling in custard is sublime. And did I mention the salty feta?! If you’re feeling extravagant and want to make this even more special, add toasted pine nuts to the filling. The oregano could easily be replaced with flat-leaf parsley, if you prefer it.

  • Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients

Pastry
  • ¾ cup (120 g) brown rice flour
  • 1 cup (120 g) ground almonds
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 free-range egg, plus 1 free-range egg yolk
Filling
  • 0.33 cup (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 120 g eggplant, cut into 1 cm dice
  • 120 g zucchini, cut into 1 cm dice
  • 100 g good-quality feta
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) thickened cream
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan-forced). Grease a 13 cm x 35 cm non-stick fluted rectangular tart tin with removable base.
  2. To make the pastry, place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a workbench and pinch off a walnutsized ball. Keep this aside in case you need to patch any fine cracks after baking. Shape the dough into a rectangle about 10 cm x 20 cm. Place the pastry inside the greased tart tin and press evenly across the base and up the sides. Bake for 8–10 minutes or until light golden. Don’t be tempted to cook the pastry too long or it will start to crack. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 165°C (fan-forced).
  3. Meanwhile, to make the filling, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the onion and a large pinch of sea salt flakes and cook for 5–6 minutes until the onion starts to collapse. Reduce the heat to low, add the vinegar and cook for another 10 minutes. This long slow cooking will bring out the sweetness in the onion. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a wok or large saucepan over high heat. Add the eggplant and saute for 4–5 minutes or until light golden and almost cooked through. Add the zucchini and toss for another 2 minutes or until tender. Season to taste, then pour into a sieve to drain off any excess moisture. Stand to cool slightly.
  5. Combine the onion, eggplant and zucchini together and check the seasoning. Scatter the vegetables evenly over the base of the tart shell, then crumble the feta over the top.
  6. Whisk together the eggs and cream and pour into the tart shell. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until the custard is just set and the top is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  7. To serve, remove from the tin, scatter with chopped oregano and drizzle with a little olive oil.
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