An all Mediterranean tart – an image of hummus, vegetables grilled with garlic oil & herbs on a olive oil flaky crust has been brewing in my head for a quite some time now. This is what spring time is about! Light flavorful and colorful meals and a lot of time outdoors with children and the trees.
The spring tidings also chirped in lovely Jeanne’s Topless Tart Alert for Meeta’s Monthly Mingle . How could one miss such a sexy party hosted by a gorgeous woman? It was a perfect time for me make and take my tart over. But before I could get there, a tiny kitchen malfunction, almost got our kitchen to a stand still. The ten year old refrigerator decided to breathe its last. But Jeanne graciously agreed to take in my submission later than the due date.
The mission here was also driven by my desire to make a perfectly flaky butter free crust. Once I started nurturing the idea, I was slowly getting obsessed with it. Why was I so bent on making a perfect olive oil crust? Lets just say, I get a high experimenting with recipes I have never done before and the best way to get it out of my system is get done with it.
Finally I got to play with my tart today. The initial plan of using asparagus did not quite happen; while bidding adieu to the refrigerator, I had to quickly use up the vegetables I had. With a tart like this, any combination of vegetables can be used. And every time you use a new permutation, you have gifted yourself a tart with fresh and new taste. That is the charm.
The hummus was made with some sun dried tomatoes. But again, any flavor of your choice would work here.
My family prefers a lighter crust to the heavy flavor of butter, especially now that the air outside has been warming up. Besides baking a olive oil pie/crust seems a little bit less guilty than using a few sticks of butter.
I did not have a recipe and did not know if it was possible to have a good crust without butter. So I tweeted. Lisa of Lisa is Cooking mentioned a recipe she has in a cookbook. It sounded good, but the recipe used egg, and I did not want to use one. Asha of Fork Spoon & Knife mentioned that she did try out a butter free crust, but was not exactly thrilled about it; the was crust flavorful and soft but not flaky like the usual tart/pie crust. Then Alessio of the Recipe Taster: From the Pantry to our Taste Buds came by leading me his recipe that he did for a dessert and was quite satisfied with it. I pondered over these two recipes. Then I went back and looked at the Onion Crackers that I had made a while ago. These crackers were really flaky and always reminded me of a short crust. I knew I still had some chance to have it flaky without the butter. So we tweeted some more exchanging ideas.
- My family prefers a lighter crust to the heavy flavor of butter, especially now that the air outside has been warming up. Besides baking a olive oil pie/crust seems a little bit less guilty than using a few sticks of butter.
- While I had to play around with the amount of oil, and soda, not really knowing what surprise it finally held for me, I have to declare, I am absolutely THRILLED with the way it turned out. It was really worth a try.
- The crust was just perfect, deliciously perfect. Warm flavors, flaky, almost crumbly crust, but just rightly right stiff to hold the shape.
- Grilled Vegetable and Hummus Tart
- Ingredients: (makes 2, 8 inch X 2.5 inch [approx.] tarts)
- Hummus – recipe below
- Olive Oil Tart crust - recipe below
- Roasted Vegetables - recipe below
- Sea Salt
- Olive Oil
- Red Crushed Pepper (Optional)
- For Hummus:
- 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic
- a very generous splash of extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tahini (optional)
- Grilled Vegetables:
- 1 medium red onion, thickly sliced
- 2 zucchini, sliced
- 1 small eggplant, sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
- 6 cloves of garlic. minced or grated
- coarse sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- red crushed pepper, to taste
- a good drizzle of olive oil
- herbs (optional)
- sumac (optional)
- For the crust:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup + 2.5 tablespoons olive oil (I have used Rosemary Infused Olive Oil)
- 1/4 cup + 1.5 tablespoons very cold club soda (use a little bit more or less to make a soft but non sticky dough)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- dried herbs, (optional) – any kind you like
- Making the crust: