Charred Courgette & Pesto Tart

Create this simple yet delicious tart by baking the puff pastry in the oven while you grill the courgettes. This reduces the cooking time and prevents the dreaded ‘soggy bottom’. Charred courgettes pair well with the flavour of fresh pesto, but experiment with other quick-cook green vegetables, including asparagus, broad beans, spinach, and peas.
Serves 4
Total Time
15 Minutes
1 sheet of puff pastry (ensure dairy free)
2 tsp of unsweetened soya milk
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 medium courgettes, sliced into rounds and ribbons
1 clove of garlic, peeled
Generous handful of basil leaves (reserve a few leaves for garnish)
1 tbsp of flaked almonds
Juice of ¼ unwaxed lemon
Generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Generous pinch of sea salt flakes and black pepper
Step 1

Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas mark 7.

Step 2

Place the puff pastry on a baking tray and fold over each of the four sides to create a 1cm (½in) border crust, then brush the border with the soya milk. Use a fork to lightly prick the inner section of the pastry.

Step 3

Bake for 10–12 minutes until the edges have risen and become golden.

Step 4

While the pastry base is cooking, prepare the filling.

Step 5

Brush a griddle pan with the sunflower oil and place over a medium–high heat. Use tongs to lay the courgette rounds and ribbons onto the hot pan and cook for 5 minutes, then carefully turn and cook for a further three minutes.

Step 6

To make the pesto, add the garlic, basil, and flaked almonds to a food processor or blender and blitz until semi-smooth.

Step 7

Pour in the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and blitz again to combine. Season with sea salt flakes. Alternatively, make the pesto by very finely chopping the garlic, basil, and flaked almonds before stirring in the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, then the seasoning.

Step 8

Remove the pastry from the oven, then generously spread the inner section with some pesto. Arrange the courgettes neatly over the pesto, then brush the courgettes with a little more pesto. Scatter with a few basil leaves and season with black pepper.

15 Minute Vegan: On a budget by Katy Beskow (Quadrille £15) Photography: Dan Jones

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