Happy Friday, everyone. I have an imprecise Party Animals post today, featuring this deep-summer veg tart, which I made mid-spring. I can't begin to know whom to credit for the veggie-rosette thing, but once I saw pictures, I knew exactly what to take to my neighbors' potluck (where people would be eating my cooking for the very first time). It was a lovely evening, and I'm pretty pleased with how this guy came out. Especially since I didn't follow anyone's recipe, and just winged it. (No, I have no idea why. I blame a busy schedule?) It's rich, but also decidedly vegetal, thanks to sheer quantity of veg needed to make the rosette. And of course, texture abounds: tender, thin squash and eggplant, flaky pastry, and rich almond pâté all play extremely well together.
To make something similar at home, grab a half-dozen yellow and green squashes, a globe eggplant, and your very finest vegetable peeler. Wash them all well and set them aside. Now prepare a batch of Lemon and Herbes de Provence Almond Pâté, and get it in the oven. While it bakes, if you have time and desire, whip up a pie crust. If you're in a hurry, set out some vegan puff pastry to thaw, as I did.
While that bakes and the other thaws, get to spendin' some quality time with the veg. Slice, slice, slice, until you have a massive stack of thin planks. Here's where my instructions get murky. To season the veg, I tossed it in a simple lemon vinaigrette, but my tongs tore up some of the more delicate squash planks (where it gets seedy). So, I dunno. Maybe very gently mix with your hands. Maybe mix the vinaigrette separately and drizzle it very slowly over the assembled tart. Who could know? There might be a recipe out there that could help, but I wouldn't know. I'm too busy to do things like learn, apparently.
Stuff your thawed pastry sheet into a nonstick 9-inch springform pan, and stretch the high corners over to help the bits that fall short. Don't sweat it too hard. Spread the still-warm pâté over the pastry using the back of a spoon (wet it to prevent sticking). Wrap your veggies around each other until all you have left is broken planks, and you're too tired of all this endless wrapping to try to piece together the rest of the rosette. Save the broken bits for grilled veggie sandwiches. Fold in the rest of the puff pastry so you have kind of a galette-thingy with a crust of puff pastry filled with almond pâté, which will be bananas-tasty.
Season your tart with flaked sea salt and black pepper. Pop it in the oven until golden, let cool before removing the pan sides and wrapping in parchment. The next day, when you actually attend your potluck, pop the tart (still on the bottom of the springform pan) back into your oven on a warm setting while you make mashed potatoes to go along with your tart, and leave it in the oven until time to head next door. Accept all the compliments on how pretty your tart is (even though you technically messed it up) and be ready to explain what all that is, exactly. Drink your neighbors' wine, and have a nice time. The tart is best served warm.