Some recipes can be as intricate as you like, but sometimes, the best edible creations are born out of a couple ingredients and unique ideas – like this Asparagus & Roasted Red Pepper Tart. Asparagus, Onions, Leeks and Garlic are all members of the same “Lily” plant family, so it is no surprise that they compliment each other perfectly. Add a bit of roasted red pepper for crunch and color, and a generous helping of fresh Mozzarella cheese, top it all onto a ready-made pie crust, and you have a fresh and flavorful Veggie Tart ready in no time!Photo courtesy of ugod via Flickr.
You can serve this as a brilliant appetizer or a side dish for your vegetarian guests. For a lighter version, use a Pita base instead of pie crust, or a puff pastry base. You can even use a Tandoori Naan as a base – add some Indian spices to the veggies while roasting them for an Indian touch to the recipe. Feta cheese is a bit salty, and for quite a few, it is an acquired taste. But my husband loves it, so I’ve included it in the recipe. Feel free to replace it with something else, or omit it out altogether to suit your taste.
Asparagus & Roasted Red Pepper Tart
1⁄2 (15 ounce) package refrigerated pie crust or puff pastry
1 tbsp olive oil
1⁄2 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut in one inch pieces
1⁄2 cup chopped red pepper
1⁄4 cup chopped onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. dried basil
2 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbs. parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Allow the pie crust to thaw outside at room temperature.
In a large skillet, lightly sauté asparagus, red pepper, and onion in olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and basil.
Unroll pie crust and place on ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle most of the mozzarella cheese on pie crust within an inch of the edge. Spread cooked vegetables evenly on the crust, and top it with mozzarella. Dot the crust with a few pieces of feta, if you like its taste, or you can omit feta completely.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until dough is lightly browned and the cheese melts.
Remove from oven, sprinkle parmesan evenly over the top, and bake for five more minutes. Cool on wire rack for five minutes before serving.
This is a very light and crispy tart, perfect appetizer to be paired with this French Onion Soup. Serve it while its warm, before the peppers and asparagus gets limp, and you’ll have your guests asking for more!