the moveable feasts

Roasted Pepper, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Tart

with 22 comments

provencal pepper and goat cheese tart

I got it in my head awhile ago that the food from the Provencal region of France was the best in the world. It had the qualities of both of my favorite cuisines (French and Italian, of course): the focus on fresh, simple ingredients of the Mediterranean like the Italians, but with the refinement and technique of still being able to produce a beautiful pate brisee or a creme anglais of the French. Since then, whenever I see a Provencal-esque recipe, I take note of it.

mixed bell peppers roast them
roasted and sliced peppers

This recipe was one of those times. I don’t think this exactly qualifies as Provencal, because it doesn’t have most of its obvious and signatory ingredients (olives, capers, eggplant, tomatoes, anchovies). Yet the whole thing just seemed to fit for me: with flavors of sweet roasted bell peppers and caramelized onions, fresh herbs of thyme and basil, salty bites of proscuitto, and all contrasted against tangy goat cheese. After being suspended between some cream and eggs and in a flaky tart shell, the whole thing bakes up to be a delicious, creamy, salty-sweet snack or light meal any time of the day.

don't have a tart pan

I baked up two of these tarts—one for my parents to take with them on a mini-camping trip to share with their friends, and another for my family to enjoy at home over the next few days (as in, everyone takes a few slivers for a day or two until my dad just commits to the entire last third of it for lunch). I sadly don’t have a tart pan, so I baked up on in a pie pan, and another in an over-sized, ceramic tart-ish dish thing.

sprinkle goat cheese

Although the whole process of making the tarts took up a pretty good chunk of time, almost everything about them can be made ahead of time, or over the period of a few days, and then assembled and baked the day you’re planning to serve it. Get the tart dough made and in the fridge to chill; roast the peppers and set aside; caramelize the onions and set aside—you get the picture.

provencal roasted pepper, prosciutto, and goat cheese tart
a slice

The extended time it takes to prepare the components is a testament to the quality of the final dish, though: the flavors are complex and rich, while tasting rustic, simple, and laid-back at the same time. Although I love the combination of flavors showcased here, I think the recipe is almost asking to have some variations and adaptions thrown at it. I’m not the most adept or confident in boldly changing up the recipe; however, if you try out something new, let me know. Especially if that variation causes the tart to only fall further under my qualifications as “Provencal,” of course.


One Year Ago: Chicken Empanadas with Chorizo and Green Olives

Roasted Pepper, Proscuitto and Goat Cheese Tart
From Fine Cooking May 2008, via use real butter
Serves 6 to 8

1 baked and cooled tart shell, recipe below

3 medium red, orange or yellow bell peppers
2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
3 thin slices prosciutto, cut into thin strips
6 large basil leaves, chopped (about 2 tablespoons tightly packed)
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese

First, roast the bell peppers. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F and have a rack positioned in the center. Place the bell peppers on an aluminum-lined baking sheet, and place in the preheated oven. Turn the peppers about every 15 minutes, as they wrinkle and blacken. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, until the majority of the skin has blackened and the peppers have started to look like they’re falling apart a little bit. Remove from the oven, place in a large glass bowl, and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. This will allow the peppers to sweat and separate from their charred skin easier. Once cool enough to handle, the skin should pull off easily from the peppers. Peel, core, and de-seed the peppers, and then slice them into thin strips about 1/2 inch in width. Set aside.

Next, caramelize the onions. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stirring often, saute the onions, about a 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, a good pinch of the black pepper, and half of the thyme together until the onions become golden brown, soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

When ready to assemble the tart and the filling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and have a rack centered din the middle position.

In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and eggs together. Season with a heavy pinch of salt and a dusting of black pepper. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the roasted peppers (discarding any liquid that has accumulated as the peppers have rested), caramelized onions, the remaining half of the thyme, sliced prosciutto, and chopped basil until well mixed and evenly distributed.

Fill the baked and cooled tart shell (still in its pan) with the roasted pepper mixture and spread evenly. Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese over the filling, and then pour in the egg and cream mixture until the tart is full. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until the custard is set and the top is evenly golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and serve at warm or room temperature.

Tart Shell, or Pate Sucree
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes one 9 or 10-inch single crust tart

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into little pieces
1 large egg yolk, beaten
3-4 tablespoons cold water

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour and salt together until well combined. Add cold butter pieces, and pulse until the mixture resembles what is often referred to as “coarse sand,” about 8 pulses. Add the egg yolk, and pulse until combined, about 3 to 4 pulses. Adding one tablespoon of cold water at a time with the machine running, pulse until the mixture just starts to hold together without being wet or sticky; the dough should still look crumbly but will hold together when pinched between two fingers.

Invert the contents on to a clean work surface and press together into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour, or up to overnight. (Note: if chilling overnight, the dough will need 15 to 20 minutes to defrost on the counter at room temperature before being rolled out.)

When ready to use, roll the cold dough into a round circle on a lightly floured surface until about 12 to 13 in diameter. Line the 9 or 10-inch tart pan with the dough without stretching it, and press it gently into shape. Trim excess dough from the pan by running a rolling pin over the top of the tart. Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes (to prevent the dough from shrinking when baking).

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees with a rack centered in the middle position. Once chilled and ready to bake, line the tart dough with aluminum foil and and weigh down with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the dough looks light and golden. Remove the foil and pie weights and continue to bake the tart shell for another 10 minutes, or until it is completely golden. Cool completely, making sure to press down any domed bubbles that appeared in the crust while baking.

Written by Amy

July 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm

22 Responses

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  1. Gorgeous as usual. I’ve never had luck roasting peppers, I’m always trying to do it under the broiler and starting fires, so I’ll try your way, it sounds much more civilized. I agree with you about the flavors of Provence; this tart and your photos really evoke that elegant French mood for me.

  2. This tart sounds like the perfect picnic food! Roasted peppers are one of my favorite vegetables–I’m looking forward to trying them like this.


    July 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm

  3. YUM YUM YUM! Elegant pictures and great palate. I just ate and this post makes me hungry again.

    Mr. Chopp

    July 18, 2012 at 12:20 am

  4. This looks wonderful and would be perfect served hot in winter or cold at a summery lunch. Your pastry looks delicious too :-)


    July 18, 2012 at 3:40 am

  5. Just when I start wondering how you consume so many desserts and still manage to be so petite ;) Then you come along with this gorgeous number and I’m thinking you must have a pretty good balance going on. You must subscribe to that everything in moderation mantra. I love that your blog highlights both sweet treats and ‘healthier’ cooking. There aren’t a lot of blogs that have a mix of that. Obviously I love this post. Going to check out the Wednesday Chef post. Thanks :)


    July 18, 2012 at 7:24 am

    • Haha, yeah sometimes I feel a little guilty because I don’t want to mislead people to think that I eat banana bread for breakfast, a few nanaimo bars for lunch, and a slice of cake and a couple cookies for dinner. I certainly have a sweet tooth and I think that shows on my blog, but most of the time I try to counter-balance that with the more vegetables, salads, and small-ish portions of things like this tart. And the type of things on your blog! That’s why I like your blog so much, actually! It’s the type of food that reflects everyday eats.


      July 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      • Aww thanks Amy…sometimes I wonder, is this too simple for people to really care about? But actually what’s on my blog is really just what I eat, however simple that may be. Glad to hear you’ve mastered the counter-balancing act. And I didn’t really think you ate nanaimo bars for lunch ;) Well, only sometimes!


        July 20, 2012 at 3:25 am

  6. This reminds me of the Ottolenghi tarte that was in Bon Appetit a while ago, a recipe I adapted to fit in winter vegetables. But a summery tarte provençale sounds really good, too.
    I still have scamorza in the fridge to use up, so maybe you’ll find me in the kitchen in the next days making quite a similar tarte. Thanks for the inspiration, it was all I could think of today.


    July 18, 2012 at 10:44 am

    • Oh, glad to be of some help! Let me know how that variation goes.


      July 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm

  7. Those tarts! Those flakey crusts! That filling! I cannot wait to try this recipe. The tart sounds incredible, with the sweet peppers, salty proscuitto and savory goat cheese. I’ve been thinking about quiche a lot these days, but it just seems like something best saved for a cold day. This tart on the other hand screams summer. If one was feeling like being a touch healthier do you think full fat yogurt would make a decent substitute for the cream? Who am I kidding? There is never a good substitute for cream, ha! Going to visit the link about roasting peppers now. I have a favorite roasted red pepper soup but I abhor the pepper roasting part, so anything to make it a bit easier.


    July 19, 2012 at 12:04 am

    • Talley, I do think I tend towards quiches as more cold-weather food, but having a wedge of this tart at room temperature is perfect in the sun. And maybe nothing is as good as cream, I’m really curious about making this a little healthier with some full fat yogurt. Maybe thinned down a little? I think you should try it out! Next time I make this I’m definitely going to try that.


      July 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm

  8. “I got it in my head awhile ago that the food from the Provencal region of France was the best in the world.”
    “I got it in my head awhile ago that the food from Spain was the best in the world.”
    “I got it in my head awhile ago that the food from Lebanon was the best in the world.”
    “I got it in my head awhile ago that the food from _______ was the best in the world.”


    July 19, 2012 at 11:39 am

    • Provence really is the best!!!! I mean it this time. And Lebanese food is like, ummm, the healthiest and purest and all that. So Provencal and Lebanese cuisines. I’m sticking with those.


      July 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm

  9. this looks absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing!


    July 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm

  10. Hi Amy. These tarts look amazing and I love all the ingredients. I love dishes that have ingredients that can be prepped ahead of time and then finally thrown together at a later date. I am proud of you for making the crust, did you really make that tart crust? It’s absolutely perfect. Great photographs as well. You don’t need to take a course as you have it down.

    • Well thanks Jackie, I suppose photography is always a work in progress for everyone. And yes, I did make the tart crust! I feel like it looks far from perfect– I think I just need to practice and make tarts more often! :)


      July 20, 2012 at 10:20 am

  11. ANYTHING that combines procuiotto (I know I spelt that incorrectly for the record…), roasted peppers, caramelised and goats cheese is basically heaven on earth right!? I bet if you ever didnt have time to make thsi crust this would also make an awesome sandwich. Just saying. :).

    And how cute are you bakign something for your parents to take camping? Ive actually recently gotten into baking my parents friends stuff too – and I think they are my favourite recipients. They get SO exicted by the fact that Ive made something from scratch (I think they view me as major MTV generation) and they are much less intimindating than baking for my own friends. Anyways – your tart looks awesome! We actually also learned a GF pie crust recipe in school that this would go great on too! (is your sis just GF or grain free too… I can never remember?!) –

    Have a fabulous weekend Amy! xoxoxo

    Em (Wine and Butter)

    July 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm

  12. That tart looks amazing! This is just the kind of thing that my mom would love (not that I wouldn’t be inhaling some slices as well.) :D Bookmarked!


    July 22, 2012 at 11:47 pm

  13. This looks absolutely perfect. I love food like this, and the combination of roasted peppers and goat cheese… amazing. It seems like it is worth the effort for sure.


    August 3, 2012 at 3:56 am

  14. I think I’ll try this recipe!! Sounds interesting!!


    September 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm

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