Spring Vegetable, Almond & Ricotta Tart

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This quiche-like cake can be made for a picnic, lunch or light dinner at home. It does contain dairy, but it is completely grain free, using almond meal, which like the eggs and cheese, is packed full of energy-sustaining protein. I’ve included vegetables such a garden peas, leek and zucchini, but you could really use any leftover green vegetables.

I used a spring-form cake-tin which makes removal easy and I recommend using a ‘convection’ oven mode, rather than ‘fan-forced’ to prevent the top from browning too early.

Provided it is served with a side salad, or extra vegetables , this dish is adequate to serve eight adults.

Last week, for the very first time, I purchased 100g of fresh ricotta cheese. I baked it on it’s own, crumbled it and then sprinkled it with chilli flakes through a salad of fresh spring vegetables, which I then drizzled with fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. It was wonderful and I only wonder why I hadn’t done this before. So I went back to the deli and bought, this time, a larger, portion – about 200g in total.

So with no lunch plans for today and with an abundance of eggs in the fridge, I decided to make a baseless quicheI sautéed a leek, cracked and whisked eight eggs, added the ricotta, some parmesan, a grated zucchini, green peas and parsley. I then added some almond meal to give it a bit of stability and energy-sustaining, belly-filling goodness.  While it took a while to bake about an hour all up it was really easy to prepare.

Once it was cooked and cooled, a took a slice and placed it in a container with sliced avocado, tomato and baby spinach. I grabbed a fork, a bottle of water, a picnic blanket and my baby and headed to the local grassy knoll above Bondi Beach for a picnic lunch. Heaven!

Serves 8

 

Tools

  • Frying Pan
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Grater
  • Cake tin

Ingredients

  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 200g fresh ricotta cheese
  • 50g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup almond meal

Method

  1. Preheat a convection oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease and line a round spring-form cake tin with baking paper and set aside.
  3. In a frying pan, sauté the leek in a little olive oil until tender and then set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs one at a time and whisk lightly.*
  5. Add the sautéed leek and all remaining ingredients, mixing until well combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour, until the ‘cake’ is lightly golden.
  7. Allow the ‘cake’ to rest and cool before removing  it from the tin and serving.

*I recommend breaking the eggs one at a time, into a cup before adding them to the larger bowl. This way you won’t spoil the whole batch if you come across a rotten egg, and any broken shell is easier to remove this way too.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve at room-temperature or cold.
  • Serve with a fresh garden salad for lunch, or as a light dinner
  • Slice and pack it up for a sandwich-free picnic see image below.

spring vege ricotta tart lunchbox

Party People

  • Pour the mixture into a mini muffin tray or mini tart shells as serve as a canapé. Reduce the baking time to 15-20 minutes, depending on the volume of each mini-cake.

Baby Friendly

  • Cut a narrow slice of ‘cake’  into cubes or small sticks to offer to your baby as finger-food. They’ll love the subtle cheese flavour and the soft texture ensures easy chewing – no teeth necessary!

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for several days.
  • Store in an airtight container in your freezer for a several weeks.

 

 

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