This glorious savoury tarte tatin was born out of fridge leftovers. Frugal cooking to the max, but your family need never know.
The upside down tart technique is more commonly known for the famous apple variety. But it is perfect for savoury incarnations too. In fact, pastry is a sublime vehicle for just about any vegetable that happens to be in season or you find languishing at the bottom of the vegetable drawer.
I’ve made wonderful ones with sticky shallots, balsamic beetroots or tender asparagus. Left over roast vegetables are my favourite though, be they thyme-laden root vegetables in winter, pestoed-up Mediterranean ones in summer or an odds and sods cornucopia like this one. It’s worth it to purposefully roast vegetables (or extra vegetables) just for this tart too though.
Baby vegetables look particularly pretty, else just cut standard ones with the size of your baking pan and your pattern design in mind. This is relaxed cooking, so the rustic country look is just fine.
If you’re feeling particularly wholesome, you can rustle up your own short crust or even a cheat’s flaky pastry. Make it gluten free or vegan if needs must. Or be lazy like me, and use a good shop-bought pastry. But do choose wisely and pick one with real butter and without unnecessary nasties please. It pays to read the labels for a dish where the pastry is the only supporting act.
Learn more about making a tarte tartin in my classic apple tarte tatin post. Go on, have one for main and one for dessert. You can never have too many tarts.
Roast Vegetable Upside Down Tart (for a 21 cm tart – V RSF)
You can vary this up with any veg you like. Courgettes, aubergines, beetroot and shallots all work great. Use just one vegetable or a selection for colour and texture as I did here. If already cooked or roasted, all the quicker to throw this beauty together for an easy lunch or supper.
150 gr chantenay carrots
200 gr mixed (baby) peppers, halved or thickly sliced, seeds removed (Leave baby ones whole after having removed the seeds from the stalk end with a teaspoon or paring knife)
3-4 small banana shallots, skinned but left whole
150 gr mushrooms, left whole if small, else halved
a few whole cherry tomatoes
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
200 gr shortcrust pastry or puff pastry, ready rolled if you like
a little flour for dusting the work surface
2 tbsp (wholegrain) mustard (optional)
Optional to serve: feta, goats cheese, or creme fraiche, fresh herbs, salad
Heat the oven to 200 C
Pour the oil into a large bowl and season generously. Add the garlic and toss the carrots through the oil. Add to a large baking dish and bake for 10 mins. Next, toss the shallots through any remaining oil and add to the tray with the carrots. Scatter with thyme and bake for 15 mins.
Add the peppers and mushrooms to the baking dish. Toss to coat. Bake for 5-10 mins, then add the tomatoes and bake for another 5 mins or until all the vegetables are al dente. Allow to cool a little, but leave the oven on.
Meanwhile lightly flour the work surface and roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin. The diameter should be about 3 cm larger than the pan diameter. Stab multiple times with a fork. Chill until needed.
Heat the pan or pie dish you want to use for the upside down tart over medium heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and the sugar. Stir until smooth and combined. Turn the heat off.
Arrange the vegetables in the pan, remembering that the bottom will be the presentation side once it is cooked and turned over. Spread the mustard onto the pastry if using. Drape the pastry, mustard side down, over the vegetables and and tuck the edges into the pan.
Bake for 30 mins or until the pastry is cooked and golden. Rest for 5-10 mins before running a knife around the edges and turning out onto a serving platter in one quick motion. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Scatter with herbs and feta, goats cheese or a dollop of creme fraiche (if using) before serving with a salad.