Saturday 29 August 2009

Accidental Plastic Tart

Last week I had a kitchen disaster worthy of Bridget Jones. Yes, you know the book (or movie) I am talking about. It was lightweight and silly but fun. In fact, it kept me entertained as I waited for E to finish work at a bookstore many years ago. I just read a bit every time I was there. Don’t worry I didn’t leave a bookmark in my copy or turn down a dog ear corner. I just remembered where I was up to.

The moment in the novel I am referring to is when she makes blue soup because the string she uses has blue dye in it. She couldn’t cook and drank more than was sensible when trying to concentrate on a new recipe to impress a special gentleman.

Well, imagine if we fast forwarded many years to when she is married, has a baby, knows how to cook, doesn’t drink much anymore, and is tired and distracted. That was where I was at last week. We all were snuffly and slept badly. Sylvia was starting on solids and had to have her immunisations (she was so good she barely cried before charming the nurse and doctor with her smiles). And I was missing my mum and dad who are travelling.

So I decided to make a tart that looked simple enough. It was just a matter of layering some cheese and vegetables on puff pastry. Hard to mess up, you might think. So what did I do wrong? When it was cooked I took it from the oven, admiring the golden brown pastry and bubbling cheese. I slid the eggflip under the pastry only to find I had left the blue plastic packaging on the puff pastry. I had put the pastry, with blue lining, on the lamington tin to defrost and forgot to remove it when I came to placing the toppings on the tart. Oops!

I had actually not managed to fit all the fillings on the tart and used a third sheet of puff pastry in a smaller tin to scatter a few bits of brie, tomato and zucchini, some olives, walnuts, a drizzle of cream and some grated tasty cheese. I baked this for 30 minutes but when I discovered my blue plastic disaster, I had only put this in the oven. I was hungry.

After much sighing and hand wringing, I couldn’t wait any longer for dinner. I scraped the vegetables and cheese off the tart and a little pastry that hadn’t had the liner on it. It looked a mess. But when you are hungry it doesn’t matter how it looks. So I put my broccoli on the side and gobbled it up. It was delicious. I loved the roasted vegetables with melty brie and crispy pastry. The next night we had the leftover tart, which was also very good but very rich and needed all the vegies on the side.

The tart was so good and simple that I decided to post the recipe anyway. It can be simple as in the recipe or more complex if you want a little experimentation as I did with my second version. I highly recommend either, but just remember to remove the lining from the pastry.

Brie, Tomato and Zucchini Tart

from BBC Good Food 101 Veggie Recipes
Serves 4

  • 2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
  • 200g brie
  • 500g (4 large) ripe tomatoes
  • 350g (3 small) zucchini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano

Preheat oven to 200 C. Line a lamington tray (30 x 20cm) with puff pastry sheets (making sure the plastic lining is discarded!). Use a sharp knife to score a line about an inch or 2.5cm from the edge. Slice brie, tomatoes and zucchini in ½cm slices.

Heat oil in frypan and fry zucchinis at medium heat for 2-5 minutes till softening. Add oregano, season to taste and fry another 1-2 minutes. (My zucchini slices were slightly browned on some and I don’t think it was too cooked) Cool slightly.

Arrange brie, tomato and zucchini in three rows and then repeat 2 or 3 times. Bake for 25-30 minutes till tart is golden brown. Serve with salad or steamed vegetables or roast vegetables.

On the Stereo:

Tribute to the Dead Soldiers, Volume Two:
Various Artists


  1. I bet that tart tasted fantastic without the added plastic, it sounded yummy. Im always leaving big patches of baking paper on my breads and cakes.

  2. Oh Johanna, I'm glad I'm not the only one who does these careless things, despite years of cooking experience! :-) I seem to be at my worst with baking - forgetting baking powder, using tablespoons instead of teaspoons... I rarely salvage as much as you did of this meal.

  3. Thanks Fleur - Baking paper on cakes is fun isn't it! Once I started used commercially greased baking paper I stopped having that problem

    Thanks Cindy - I will keep you comapny in doing silly things in the kitchen - baking powder still gets me - I tend to forget it too often

  4. Oh Johanna! I've had so many moments like this in the kitchen it's not funny (and I have indeed cooked plastic onto food, only when I did it it was on the stovetop and it all melted in and the dish actually smelled like molten plastic so we had to throw it out).

    At least what you saved was tasty and that's the main thing!

    I love the 2nd variation as well. Yum!

  5. Sounds like something I would do! Thank goodness you salvaged some of the goodies and pastry and could still enjoy all those wonderful flavors together.

  6. Hehe I was wondering where the plastic came in! Ahh it happens to the best of us amd nothing wrong with being a real life Bridget Jones!

  7. Oh dea, we all do silly forgetful things when we are tired. The tart looks wonderful though, I'm glad you managed to save some of it

  8. Thanks Vegetation - we have had a few melting incidents on stove top but nothing serious luckily - although it took a few washes to make sure all the plastic out of the lamington tin

    thanks Ricki - I was relieved it still tasted so good

    Thanks Lorraine - at least I wasn't entertaining like Bridget

    Thanks Katie - I was impressed with the look of the tart til I saw the plastic and then it just lost the allure

  9. Mmm that looks really good! Love the sound of brie in it. Good thing you didn't end up eating the plastic at least!

  10. The picture looks completely enticing - you would never know it's dark little secret! I'm glad that you were able to salvage it. I bet the brie really brought it all together (and at least it wasn't blue!)

  11. Thanks Ashley - love brie and puff pastry - a great indulgence

    Thanks Lysy - it would have been amusingly ironic if I had used blue brie


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