Artichoke Pesto Filo Tart by Zacchary Bird

"Leaning on store-bought filo pastry and vegan egg replacements (either the bottled egg mixes designed for pan scrambling, or the trusty powdered version made for baking, prepared as per the packet instructions) will free your focus to make the filling! The more variety in your tomatoes, the more beautiful your tart." Recipe extracted from pg 280 of Zacchary Bird's new cookbook, The Vegan Baker.

Serves 6-8 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 50 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 80ml/2.5 fl oz garlic confit oil or olive oil
  • 12 sheets filo pastry
  • 320g/11.5oz cherry tomatoes, sliced into thirds
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 100g/3.5oz prepared vegan egg replacer
  • 100g/3.5oz shredded vegan cheese
  • 100g/3.5oz vegan feta (optional)
  • lemon wedges, to serve
  • rocket (arugula) leaves, to serve

Artichoke Pesto

  • 150g/5.5oz marinated artichoke hearts
  • 25g/0.75oz chopped parsley
  • small handful of basil leaves
  • 35g/1.25oz shelled pistachios
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast powder
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 80ml/2.5 fl oz olive oil

METHOD

  1. Prepare your chosen filling by adding all the ingredients to a food processor, except the olive oil. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil, scraping down the side as needed. Adjust the seasoning to taste, then store in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  3. Using a pastry brush, coat the base of a 25cm (10in) quiche dish with some of the oil. Lay a sheet of filo pastry over the centre. Rotate the dish 45 degrees, brush the pastry with oil and lay another sheet on top. Repeat, rotating the dish, to cover the entire base. Crumple the remaining pastry in the dish to create lots of weird textures: think hills, peaks, valleys, a few mountain ranges; the goal is to create lots of crispy areas throughout the base for the filling to fit into. Fold in the sticking-out edges of the filo pastry to form a rim, then generously drizzle the whole lot with more of the oil. Blind-bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry is golden.
  4. In a bowl, toss the sliced tomatoes with the garlic, salt and pepper.
  5. Mix the prepared egg replacer and shredded cheese through the filling, then spoon the filling into the baked pastry shell, into all those nooks and crannies you created earlier. Lay the tomato over the top, covering the entire surface, and push down slightly. Brush any excess tomato liquid and oil over the top.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the filling has set and the tomato begins to blister. As soon as the tart comes out of the oven, crumble the feta over the top, if using.
  7. Serve warm, with lemon wedges and rocket. The tart will keep in the fridge for 2 days as you finish it off.

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Guest Blogger Zacchary Bird

I’m into indulgent food that looks and tastes like it shouldn’t be vegan, just to prove we can. See all recipes by Zacchary

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