Summer vegetable & pesto rose tart

Summer vegetable & pesto rose tart

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(16 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 1 hr, 5 mins

More effort

Serves 12

Spelt flour gives the pastry a nutty flavour which works so well with the pesto. Serve this stunning tart warm or cold and prepare for jaws to drop

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal408
  • fat31g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs20g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre3g
  • protein11g
  • salt0.6g


    For the pastry

    • 250g spelt flour
    • 125g cold butter, cubed
    • 25g gruyère (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated



      Gruyère is an undoubted pinnacle of traditional Swiss cheese-making, a culinary masterpiece as…

    • 1 egg yolk, beaten

    For the filling

    • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled
      Sweet potatoes

      Sweet potato

      sweet po-tate-toe

      Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

    • 2 courgettes (1 green and 1 yellow looks nice)



      The courgette is a variety of cucurbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

    • 1 small aubergine



      Although it's technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a…

    • juice 1 small lemon



      Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

    • 250g mascarpone
    • 2 eggs



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    • 150g rocket pesto (make your own, or use a good shop-bought one)



      Pesto is a generic Italian name for any sauce made by pounding ingredients together.


    • 25g fresh breadcrumbs
    • 100g gruyère (or vegetarian alternative), grated



      Gruyère is an undoubted pinnacle of traditional Swiss cheese-making, a culinary masterpiece as…

    • small bunch thyme, leaves picked


      This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

    • 2 tbsp olive oil
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…


    1. First, make the pastry. Tip the flour into a bowl with 1/ 2 tsp salt. Add the butter and rub in using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir through the cheese with a cutlery knife. Add the egg yolk, drizzle over 1 tbsp cold water, then use the knife to stir it in until clumps of dough start to form. Tip onto a work surface and bring the dough together with your hands into a smooth ball. Alternatively, you can make the pastry in a food processor. Shape into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins.

    2. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, slice the sweet potatoes, courgettes and aubergines lengthways as thinly as possible. Brush the aubergine slices with lemon juice as you go to prevent them from turning brown. Put the sweet potato in a bowl with 2 tsp water, cover with cling film and cook in a microwave on high for 2 mins, then remove and leave to cool. Do the same with the courgettes and aubergines, but cook for just 30 secs, then set aside.

    3. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Line a 23cm fluted tart tin with the pastry. Trim the sides with a pair of kitchen scissors, leaving an overhang of about 1cm. Chill for another 10 mins. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and put a baking tray on the middle shelf.

    4. When the pastry is cold and firm, line with baking parchment (scrunch it up first to make it more pliable), then fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 mins, then remove the beans and parchment and bake for 5 mins more until the pastry is biscuity.

    5. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the mascarpone, eggs, pesto, breadcrumbs and Gruyère in a bowl, season and mix well. Remove the pastry case from the oven, trim the sides with a small sharp knife so they’re flush with the top of the tin, then spread the filling over the base.

    6. Reduce oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Drain any liquid from the vegetables, pat dry on kitchen paper, then season them all well. Stack a slice of sweet potato, courgette and aubergine on top of each other then, starting from one end, roll into a spiral. Put in the middle of the tart. Layer up another three vegetable slices, then wrap these around the spiralled veg in the centre. Continue until the tart is full and you have created a rose effect. Sprinkle thyme leaves between the layers and drizzle the tart with oil.

    7. Bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 mins until the vegetables are tender and the filling has set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 mins before removing. Serve warm or cold.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    28th Jul, 2019
    Just awful. The veg was so hard to spiral round. My veg was too wide & it was hard to make it a consistent height without a lot of wastage. Pesto was far too strong even though I reduced the amount to less than half after reading the reviews. The veg was hard and lacked flavour. It looks nice but truly not worth it.
    7th Nov, 2018
    Love this recipe and have made a couple of times now. I use basil pesto as I prefer it to rocket, and also thinly slice the vegetables with a vegetable peeler. Looks amazing, a great centerpiece.
    24th Jul, 2018
    Amazing recipe! I have rated it '4' as I followed a few of the tips from the comments posted, rather than strictly follow the recipe. I agree with 'aldamagpie' re: pesto - I put in two heaped teaspoons of basil pesto (even our waitrose didn't do rocket pesto!) and it was perfect. 150g would have completely over powered the recipe. I used a potato peeler to finely slice the courgette and sweet potato. I didn't have the issues of other reviewers of this being under cooked; mine was perfect. It was very thinly sliced. The base is spelt which makes the pastry harder to work, but worth it. You could substitute with a normal pastry case (although, if you do, do wholemeal). All in all, a fab recipe, if you take the above modifications into account.
    21st May, 2018
    Wonderful recipe and an easy showstopper. Not nearly as complicated or as much work I thought when I started. However, I had way too much of the vegetables leftover at the end, enough sweet potato and courgette for a whole new tart. I chose the smallest sweet potatoes available but I suppose they were way too big! Also, couldn't get the rocket pesto and didn't want to make it so used regular pesto. Maybe that made a huge difference but the next time I make this I will cut the pesto by half, it overwhelmed the other flavours of the filling completely.
    30th Jul, 2017
    Loved the recipe and the filling was delicious. I would cook the vegetables for a little longer next time as it really does depend on how thin you've been able to cut them (I used a potato peeler so they were thin!) Whilst it certainly does look impressive, it was a bit difficult to cut into wedges unless the vegetables are completely cooked and even then, the aubergine peel was a bit tough. All that said, I loved how it looked but may try a sunburst arrangement next time to aid cutting!
    14th Sep, 2016
    Made my regular pastry and did one and a half times quantity for a twelve inch tin, but otherwise followed recipe exactly. Allow yourself plenty of time, but perfectly straightforward. Looks very impressive and all my guests enjoyed it. Another time I think I will use less pesto as I think the pesto flavour was a little too overpowering.
    25th Aug, 2016
    This was delicious and such fun to make. I made it for a family gathering picnic and we all loved it. It looked the same as the photo which I was delighted with. We all thought a small slice of this would be lovely served with BBQ'd lamb chops
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