Ratatouille Tart

Ratatouille Tart

Ratatouille Tart excerpted from The Artful Pie Project: A Sweet and Savoury Book of Recipes by Denise Marchessault. Photography by Deb Garlick.

The Artful Pie Project: A Sweet and Savoury Book of Recipes by Denise Marchessault

Pie champion Denise Marchessault teams up with artist and photographer Deb Garlick for a visually stunning cookbook celebrating sweet and savoury pies. With whimsical illustrations and practical how-to images, The Artful Pie Project unlocks the secrets to a great pie.

(Pssst…it’s all in the pastry!)

Featuring over 50 recipes covering the pie spectrum from galettes, to pastry dumplings and slab crumbles-plus French Canadian classics such as Tourtière and Tart au Sucre.

Beyond pie, there are plenty of tips for dodging pie fails and creative ideas for using precious scraps of leftover dough.

And because pies love company, there’s a selection of accompaniments to partner with your favourite rite recipes. With mouth-watering photos and playful illustrations, The Artful Pie Project is sure to charm, and disarm, even the most apprehensive baker.

The Artful Pie Project: A Sweet and Savoury Book of Recipes is available at Amazon.com and Indigo.ca.  

Ratatouille Tart

TANGY FETA AND creamy ricotta cheese form the base for this sumptuous vegetable tart. Briny olives, marinated artichoke hearts and plenty of herbs brighten the rustic, Mediterranean-inspired topping. The tart is a simplified version of the double-crust Ratatouille Pie featured in my previous book, British Columbia from Scratch.

The pastry is prebaked and topped with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese to ensure the crust stays firm, never soggy. The filling and pastry can be made days in advance-always an attractive option when hosting guests.

Ricotta needs to be strained at least four hours, preferably overnight.

Makes two 10½-inch (26 cm) tarts

1 recipe Flaky Pastry Dough (page 32), divided into 2 portions
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp (90 mL) grated Parmesan cheese (about 35 g)

2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil + more as needed
2 large onions (white, yellow or sweet), diced
½ cup (125 mL) blanched and peeled pearl onions (optional)
2 medium zucchini (about 140 g each), cut in half lengthwise, then into ¼-inch (6 mm) slices
2 large red peppers, diced
½ tsp (2.5 mL) kosher salt + more as needed
4 cloves garlic, minced
One 28 oz (794 g) can good-quality plum tomatoes
Two 6 oz (175 g) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped, tough stems removed
36 Kalamata olives, pits removed and coarsely chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) hot sauce, such as Sriracha
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp (90 mL) freshly chopped parsley
2 Tbsp (30 mL) freshly chopped basil ingredients continued

Prepare the pastry and place one portion of dough onto a sheet of parchment paper dusted with flour. Layer a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough and roll (over the plastic) from the centre toward the pastry’s edge in all directions until about ⅕ inch (3 mm) thick.

Drape the dough over your rolling pin and transfer to one of the tart pans, being mindful not to pull or stretch the dough. Press the dough against the tart’s edges with your fingers and trim the excess pastry. Cover in plastic and refrigerate for at least 40 minutes before baking.
Repeat the process with the remaining portion of dough to make the second tart.

Preheat oven to 375°E (190°C).

Pierce the base and sides of each pastry with the tines of a fork. Cover with parchment paper or foil and fill with pie weights. Transfer to a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, rotating the tray once during baking.

Remove the tarts from the oven and carefully remove the pie weights and parchment (or foil). Sprinkle each tart with 3 Tbsp (45 mL) Parmesan cheese and return to the oven, uncovered, for another 10 minutes, or until the pastry is browned and cooked through. Cool completely on a baking rack.


Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the large onions and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the blanched pearl onions, if using, along with the zucchini, red peppers and salt. Cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and stir for about half a minute until aromatic, then add the plum tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Add the artichokes, pitted olives and hot sauce. Simmer uncovered over medium heat until the liquid has completely evaporated and the mixture has thickened, about 15-20 minutes (a watery mixture will seep through the pastry). Taste and season with additional salt, if desired. Add the freshly chopped parsley and basil. Set aside to cool completely.


Combine the strained ricotta, feta, ½ cup (125 mL) Parmesan and the egg in a medium bowl and mix well.


1¾ cups (435 mL) ricotta cheese (about 400 g), strained (see note, page 109)
1 cup (250 mL) crumbled feta cheese (about 120 g)
½ cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 60 g)
I large egg, slightly beaten

6-7 small ripe tomatoes on the vine
or 1 small, thinly sliced zucchini

Two 10½-inch (26 cm) tart pans with removable bases
Pie weights (or beans or rice)


Divide the cheese mixture in two and spread evenly along the base of each
precooked tart. Divide the cooled vegetable filling and spread evenly over the
cheese mixture.

Preheat oven to 350F (175°C).

Scatter 6 or 7 small ripe tomatoes at op the filling and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Alternatively, garnish the edge of the tart with thinly sliced zucchini rounds (slightly overlapping) drizzled with a bit of olive oil.

Bake the tarts on a baking tray in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheese and filling have warmed through.

Cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Fitzhenry and Whiteside

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