Vegetable Tartlets with Wholewheat Crust

The full bounty of the greenmarkets arrives in August. Don't be intimidated! Here's an easy, delicious and adaptable recipe, to enjoy with the height of the season.

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At a time of year when the garden or farmers’ market can seem overwhelming, this recipe quickly uses up any quantity of produce. Any combination of summer fruits and leafy greens can be added to the mix. Cherry tomatoes suit the small size and delicate crust better than whole tomatoes (less juicy), but otherwise almost any summer fruit or vegetable–corn, zucchini–works beautifully. Once cooked into a tasty crust, the tarts and veggies freeze easily. Bake them on a rainy day, though: nobody likes a hot oven on a hot day.

For the crust:

2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon sugar, brown sugar or honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup ice water

For the filling:

1 bunch kale, cut into ribbons
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 hot peppers of your choice (our recipe featured Early Jalapeños and Pasilla, a type of roasting pepper)

10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 onion, minced finely chopped

1/4 cup of vegetable broth
6 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 bunch basil (about 1 cup), cut into ribbons
Parmesan or feta cheese, to garnish

  • Make the crust. Pulse flour, whole wheat flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add butter; process until mixture resembles coarse meal. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream; process just until dough holds together. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 1 hour or up to three days.
  • Preheat oven to 350*F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 thick. Cut out rounds to suit the size of your tartlet pans–I used muffin tins, so I cut mine to the size of a quart-container lid and then folded them into the muffin cup space (after greasing it lightly). Put the finished tins or muffin tray into the fridge for 1/2 hour.
  • Make the filling. Heat up the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and peppers continue stirring–about 2 minutes to cook. Add water and vegetable broth mix; season with salt and pepper. As soon as the liquid has mostly evaporated, add kale and cover until wilted, about 3 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in basil and remove from heat.
  • Spoon veggie mix into pastry shells. Top each with 1/2 tomato and Parmesan.

Bake 40 minutes.

Photo: Naima Green