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Gill Bland

Courgette Tart With Poppyseed Pastry

Posted by Gill Bland Monday, 5th August 2013

I have a kitchen with a Rangemaster, more bunting than is good for me, and neighbours who bring me bags of veg from their allotment. You'd be forgiven for thinking that I lived somewhere in the friendly rural idylls of our lovely island, but no! I live in zone four of the nation's capital. So if you're ever tempted to think that London only puts on its best face for the Olympics, come to our street and we'll change your mind. This month's recipe comes courtesy of Viv and Bob who live at number 19 and their glut of multi-coloured courgettes. 


Courgette -tart --1


For the pastry (makes one large case or two small ones like mine)

  • 180g spelt flour + 75g plain wholemeal flour (or 255g of plain flour)
  • 150g butter
  • 3 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 egg yolk

For the filling

  • 1 large green courgette
  • 1 large yellow courgette
  • 3 tbsp basil and tomato pasta sauce (or passata would do)


  • Handful of mixed seeds, tossed in a little pesto and toasted,
  • Basil oil/ oil from the jar of pesto


To make the tart case:

  1. Rub together the flour and butter until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  2. Stir through the poppy seeds.
  3. Add the egg yolk and bring together into a stuff dough.
  4. Wrap the ball of dough in Clingfilm and put in the fridge to rest for 30mins while you slice the courgettes very thinly into circles (it makes them easier to layer).
  5. Roll or press the pastry out until 1/2cm thick and big enough to cover your chosen dish.
  6. Lift the pastry into the flan dish, pressing it down and up the sides - you may need to patch it as it's very fragile but don't worry about that.
  7. Wrap in Clingfilm and pop the pastry case into the freezer while you heat the oven to 180c
  8. Prick with and fork and blind bake (I covered mine with foil and put teaspoons in it as I didn't have baking beans - thanks for the tip mum!) for 10min
  9. Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes until it's starting to brown.
  10. Take out and leave to cool for a few minutes before adding the filling. Leave the oven on, turning it up to 200c.


For the filling

  • Starting at the inside arrange the circles of courgette in the base of the pastry case making sure they come snugly up to the edges.
  • Season, then spoon over the tomato sauce so that it covers the layer.
  • Now repeat the courgette layer, alternating colours. 
  • Brush with oil (preferably basil oil or the oil from your pesto jar) and put back into the oven to cook for 20mins at 200c.
  • Sprinkle with toasted seeds (optional) 
Courgette -tart --2


The poppy seeds were an idea that I have shamelessly borrowed from a readymade quiche which I recently bought in the supermarket. I thought the texture of the seeds and their peppery-ness took the pastry from a mere container for the filling to being an integral part of it. The use of spelt flour makes it less gluten heavy for those who struggle with digesting it, but does mean that the pastry isincrediblycrumbly (as the amount of it on the floor of my kitchen will attest) 


Courgette -tart --3

Since getting my Rangemaster I wouldn't normally bother with blind baking - as the base-heat setting on the multifunction oven does such a good job. However, I have taken the extra precaution for this recipe because the amount of water in the courgettes means there's a distinct risk of the dreaded 'soggy-bottom'

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