Red Pepper and Tapenade Tart
Serves 4-6 (one 9” tart)
Inspired by Once Upon a Tart by Mentesana, Audureau, and Carreno (Knopf 2003)
Sweet roasted red peppers and onions are paired with salty olive and anchovy tapenade in an unmistakably Mediterranean tart. Dried oregano in the crust nicely complements the filling. Anchovies punch up the flavor without being overbearing, but if you must leave them out, the tart will still be delicious. For an olive oil crust, rather than one made with butter, use the crust in my recipe for Roasted Beet and Garlic Tart. You can also use a filo pastry crust. Red Pepper and Tapenade Tart can be made ahead and served at room temperature; the tapenade and roasted vegetable components may also be made ahead. I like serving the tart as part of an appetizer buffet, but with a crisp green salad and glass of cold white wine, Red Pepper and Tapenade Tart makes a mouth-watering warm weather meal.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold and cut into chunks
3 Tbsp. shortening
3 – 4 Tbsp. ice water
1/4 cup pitted, oil-cured black olives or Roasted Kalamata Olives
4 anchovy fillets
1 Tbsp. capers, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, or 1 Tbsp. dried
1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups julienned red bell peppers (4-5 peppers)
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk or half-and-half
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Make Crust: Put flour, salt, and oregano in bowl of food processor and pulse to mix ingredients. Add butter chunks and shortening to food processor, and pulse until butter and shortening are mostly combined with flour, but a few pea-sized pieces remain. (You can also cut butter and shortening into flour with two knives or a pastry blender.) Sprinkle in ice water and pulse until dough holds together. If dough is too dry, add a little more ice water. Dump dough out onto piece of wax paper or plastic wrap and form into solid disk. Wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
Make Filling: Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Mix peppers, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper, and spread mix out on baking sheet. Bake at 450°F for 45 – 50 minutes, or until peppers start to brown around edges. Give peppers a stir every 15 minutes as they cook. Remove from oven when done, and reduce oven temperature to 425°F.
Make Tapenade: Put all ingredients in food processor bowl or blender and process to smooth paste. If tapenade is too dry to spread, add a little more olive oil.
Bake Crust: Roll out dough into 13 – 14” diameter circle. Center in 10” tart pan, pressing dough towards center and into edges. Trim overhanging dough so there is just enough to fold under and form a double-thickness side crust. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Press a double layer of aluminum foil directly onto dough-covered bottom and sides of pan (foil prevents dough from bubbling up while baking). Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes or until crust is set and lightly golden. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Assemble Tart: Spread tapenade evenly over pre-baked crust, and sprinkle with parmesan. Spread roasted peppers and onions over tapenade, mounding any extra peppers in the tart’s center. Mix eggs, milk, salt, and freshly ground black pepper and pour mix over peppers. Bake at 350°F for 35 – 40 minutes or until filling sets. Serve hot or at room temperature.