October 30, 2011

Grain-free ratatouille tarts

I love the serenity of Sunday mornings. I am always up early, go for a long power walk, have a big breakfast and more often than not, prepare something to have later in the day for lunch or afternoon tea. These irresistible ratatouille tarts have been my recent favourite for a weekend lunch. In the past I've made them with a normal spelt flour base and topped them with goat or feta cheese, but after cutting down on grains, this almond crust is just perfect. I've left the cheese out this time too, but feel free to crumble some on, if you wish. You can play with the ingredients as well, try wild mushrooms or other seasonal ingredients that are available in your corner of the world.

Grain-free ratatouille tarts
(recipe inspired by Pirkka)
(makes 4 small tarts)


200g almond meal
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg (organic, free-range)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
pinch of sea salt


1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil or olive oil
1 medium sized (400g) eggplant, chopped into cubes
1 medium sized red capsicum/bell pepper (250g), chopped into cubes
2 zucchinis (200g), chopped into cubes
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dry oregano
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt

 *Any left-over filling is delicious with a bowl of quinoa!

1. Start by making the filling. Heat half of the oil in a large frying pan and add the eggplant. Cook for a few minutes or until just starting to soften. Place the eggplant on a plate and set aside.

2. Add the other half of the oil into the pan and add capsicum, zucchini, tomatoes and onion. Cook for a few minutes, then add the eggplant back into the pan. Season the vegetables with oregano, black pepper and sea salt. Cover the pan and let simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. Set aside and leave to cool.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease 4 (13cm) pie dishes.

4. To make the bases, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and lightly knead to mix thoroughly. Divide the dough into 4 portions and use your fingers to press the dough on to the bottom and sides of each pie dish. Refrigerate the bases for 10-15 minutes.

5. Bake the bases for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and top each crust with the filling. Continue to bake for a further 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before removing from the cases and serving.