Vegetable Ribbon Tart

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Dorie Greenspan thinks she must have been channeling her inner French host when she first made this tart—it’s so like something her Parisian friends would make. It’s naturally pretty and a little fancy, even though the important ingredients are store-bought. The filling is hummus from the supermarket—it can be plain or roasted pepper or beet or whatever’s your favorite. It’s topped with colorful raw vegetables and herbs tossed with vinaigrette. If you’ve got a little vegetable patch, this is the recipe to show it off. If you’re going out shopping, get carrots, fennel, peppers, beets and cucumbers. She slices in some scallions and tomatoes too and finishes it all with hard-boiled eggs. As for the crust, she uses frozen puff pastry, scoring it so that it rises around the edges, like a frame.

Ingredients:

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (grate the zest for the topping before juicing the lemon)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. honey, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. za’atar, herbes de Provence or dried oregano
  • Pinch of fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. grated fresh ginger or a pinch of ground ginger
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. toasted sesame oil


For the topping:

  • About 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) (3 or 4 generous handfuls) shaved and/or thinly sliced vegetables (see headnote)
  • A handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved, quartered or sliced
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, cilantro and/or tarragon
  • Finely grated lemon zest of 1/2 to 1 lemon (reserved from above)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup (3 3/4 oz./113 g) hummus (see headnote)

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, halved or quartered, or more if you’d like

Directions:

To roll and bake the pastry, center a rack in the oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C), or the temperature recommended on the package of puff pastry.

Unroll or unfold the puff pastry onto a work space; keep it on the paper it came with or use a fresh sheet of parchment. You want a square or rectangle that’s 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick (see note below), so roll it out if needed. Mark off a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border on all sides of the dough by nicking it with the tip of a knife—think of it as a frame. Then, using the nicks as your guide, run the knife tip against the edge of a ruler to score the border, taking care not to cut all the way through the dough. Prick the inner rectangle or square of dough—leave the “frame” as is—and slide the paper and dough onto a baking sheet.

Bake the pastry for about 15 minutes (or follow the package directions). Let color and puff be your guide: You want the sheet to be golden brown (pale puff pastry isn’t tasty) and puffed all over. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the pastry cool to room temperature. (As long as your kitchen isn’t humid, you can keep the pastry uncovered at room temperature for up to 8 hours. If it needs a crisping, reheat it for a few minutes and cool before topping.)

Just before you’re ready to construct the tart, use a fork or your fingers to crush and flatten the pastry in the inner rectangle or square. Don’t discard the crumbs and pieces—leave them on the tart; they’ll add more texture.

To make the vinaigrette, put the lemon juice, vinegar, honey, za’atar, salt and ginger in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to blend. Add the olive oil and sesame oil and shake again. Taste, and if you think it needs a little more of something, add it now. Set aside until needed. (You can make the vinaigrette a few hours ahead and let it sit at room temperature or refrigerate it. Shake well before using.)

To make the topping and assemble the tart, put the shaved and/or sliced vegetables, the tomatoes and scallions in a large bowl. (The vegetables, without the tomatoes, can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours ahead; see Working Ahead. Add the tomatoes when ready to assemble the tart.) Add most of the herbs and the lemon zest, season well with salt and pepper and toss together. Give the vinaigrette a good shake, pour it over the vegetables and toss again. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed.

Place the pastry on a serving plate or a nice cutting board. Spread the hummus over the flattened portion of the pastry (leave the puffed border bare). Top the hummus with the vegetables—some will probably get away and tumble over the edges, and that’s fine and pretty—followed by the eggs. Season the eggs with salt and pepper, sprinkle the tart with the remaining herbs and serve immediately.

You can cut the tart with a chef’s knife—snap the blade down as you cut, don’t saw—or a pizza wheel. Whatever you use, there will be flying shards of pastry—they’re part of the tart’s charm. Serves 4 to 6.

A Word on the Puff Pastry: This recipe is based on a piece of pastry that weighs about 8 oz. (227 g) and can be rolled out into a square about 11 inches (28 cm) on a side or a rectangle that’s 8 to 9 inches (20 to 23 cm) by 11 to 13 inches (28 to 33 cm). (Pepperidge Farm puff pastry fits this description.) But if you’ve got pastry that rolls out to a different size, you can increase or decrease the amounts for the filling and topping as necessary. Precision is not important here. As recipes go, this one’s more idea than formula.

And a Word on Working Ahead: Each component of the tart can be prepared ahead. Even the vegetables, minus the tomatoes, can be done ahead—toss them into a large bowl, crumple a couple of damp paper towels over the top, cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Storing: While you can prepare much of this ahead of time, the tart is not meant to be kept.

Playing Around: Instead of hummus, the filling can be guacamole, tzatziki, tapenade, herbed ricotta or even scallion cream cheese.

Adapted from Baking with Dorie, by Dorie Greenspan (Mariner Books, 2021)