SPRING VEG TART – Simple ingredients transformed into something fun and festive…



2 sheets frozen puff pastry
2 tbsps olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly cut
16 slender asparagus spears, bottoms trimmed, cut into 5cm sections
115g baby bella or cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and sliced
130g baby spinach
⅓ cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
2 tsps Italian seasoning blend4 (or a combination of dried oregano, thyme, and basil)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
100g violife cheese

Thaw the puff pastry sheets for 45 minutes to an hour before using. Carefully unfold and arrange on two parchment-lined baking sheets.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.

Add the bell pepper, asparagus, and mushrooms to the skillet. Cover and cook for two to three minutes, lifting the lid to stir occasionally, just until the asparagus turns tender-crisp.
Add the spinach and dried tomatoes. Cover and cook just until the spinach wilts down, one minute or less. Remove from the heat and season to taste with the seasoning blend, salt, and pepper.

Grate the cheese and sprinkle evenly over the surface of the puff pastry. Distribute the vegetable mixture evenly over the surface of the pastry, then create a little lip by folding all four edges over just about one centimetre.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Allow to stand for five minutes. Cut each into six sections, then serve.

You can try broccoli in place of the asparagus. Substitute arugula for spinach, or use half of each. Or, use kale, and give it a bit more time to wilt down. Or go really wild and use ramps, fiddleheads, dandelion greens, radishes and their greens – possibilities are endless…

Recipe by Nava Atlas