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a healthy french pizza tart

This pizza tart has a buttery, whole wheat crust loaded with the goodness of fresh vegetables and mozzarella cheese. It is a one-dish meal, and a recipe easy enough for a weekend dinner!

Ingredients

  • For poolish/ starter :
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup warm water (40-45 degrees Celsius)
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour or regular flour
  • ½ teaspoon dry yeast
  • a pinch of salt
  • For dough :
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into small dice
  • 1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil (for oiling dough only)
  • Equipment: a standing electric mixer with whisk and dough-hook attachments
  • For tomato sauce :
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 ½ cups of tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or canned)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fennel
  • ½ teaspoon crushed chilies
  • 2 teaspoons small salted capers (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • For vegetable filling :
  • ½ a large eggplant, sliced in 8-10 1/8 ” slices
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 onion, sliced into thin rounds
  • 6-8 button mushrooms, sliced into thin pieces lengthwise
  • 1 green bell pepper/capsicum sliced into thin rounds
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • To assemble :
  • 200g of mozzarella cheese, shredded
This pizza tart has a buttery, whole wheat crust loaded with the goodness of fresh vegetables and mozzarella cheese. It is a one-dish meal, and a recipe easy enough for a weekend dinner!

Instructions

  • 1. Make starter:

    Combine sugar and warm water (it should not be hot- just right for a baby) in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over mixture and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir flour into yeast mixture, forming a wet dough. Cover with plastic wrap or a shower cap (really!) and let starter rise, at room temperature, 3-4 hours.
  • 2. Make dough:

    Combine starter and remaining whole wheat flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • 3. Heat ½ cup water until slightly warm as earlier. Add the 2 teaspoons yeast to the water, and allow to bubble for 10 minutes. Ensure well dissolved.
  • 4. Combine yeast mixture with other ingredients and using a dough hook, beat mix at medium-low speed for about 5-7 minutes.
  • 5. Add chopped butter and mix. If the dough is very sticky and does not form a ball, slowly add a teaspoon or two of flour. If the dough is very dry add a few teaspoons of water. Allow dough ball to knead for another 5 minutes.
  • 6. You can also knead the dough by hand. Combine all ingredients except butter, mix well. Oil hands and knead for 5 minutes. Add butter and continue kneading 2-3 minutes– dough should be soft and sticky.
  • 7. Remove dough from bowl, oil with olive or vegetable oil over entire surface. Cover with a plastic shower cap (my personal technique) or plastic wrap.
  • 8. Allow to rise about 1 ½ -2 hours until doubled in size.
  • 9. Make sauce:

    If using fresh tomatoes, drop them into a pan of boiling water and leave for about a minute, until the skins split. Toss into cold water and peel, then chop. If you don’t have an issue with preservative and prefer canned tomatoes, break tomatoes with hand into small bits.
  • 10. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan on a medium heat, and add the chopped garlic. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, do not allow to brown.
  • 11. Add the tomatoes, then add salt, fennel, crushed chilies, the capers if using, and fresh black pepper.
  • 12. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick, and olive oil begins to separate from tomatoes.
  • 13. Adjust seasoning, and stir in the basil leaves, roughly torn.
  • 14. To prepare vegetables:

    Only the eggplant needs to be cooked for this dish, the other vegetables are added raw.
  • 15. Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Dry eggplant slices with a paper towel and fry lightly for 2 minutes on each side. Remove onto paper towels for oil to drain.
  • 16. To assemble and bake:

    Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • 17. Butter a 9-inch pie pan, preferably with a removable bottom. Lift dough from bowl and allow to fall into pie pan. Using finger gently, stretch dough to all sides. Push dough to rim of the pan, and form a ½ inch thick border on edge of the pan. Place pie dish on a baking sheet.
  • 18. Place half the sauce on the base of the raw tart shell. Cover with half the cheese. Layer eggplants slices, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and peppers.
  • 19. Cover with remaining sauce and last, the remaining cheese.
  • 20. Place pie pan in center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. Lower heat to 175 and bake for another 20-25 minutes until cheese and crust is nicely browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients: 18

    Prep Time: 6 hours (include rising time for dough)

    Cooking Time: 35-40 mins

Critical Ingredients

In the sauce, you can skip fennel and use oregano instead. Capers are of course optional, but add a great , lemony tart flavor. Vegetables can be altered according to season and availability, although I personally wouldn’t put cauliflower or broccoli in my tart! I do love all varieties of mushrooms. Artichokes also do well in a layered vegetable tart, and go well with the pizza flavors. Eggplants go well with the mozzarella cheese.

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Anuja Kohli Mariwala

An engineer, home cook, Pilates instructor, Education Consultant and mother of four.

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