“Food is only a small part of what makes us healthy. And honestly I can’t see why everyone takes it so seriously.”
In Jody Vassallo’s cookbook Beautiful Food she makes it clear that she’s not out to write some all-or-nothing healthy eating guide. Although she certainly has the creds to write one, with 20 years experience in food styling and recipe writing, collaborations with Jamie Oliver, Bill Granger and Donna Hay, and several years as a food consultant at the NSW Institute of Sport and under her belt.
Jody stresses that Beautiful Food is simply about listening to your body and discovering foods that work for you. And when we spotted this pumpkin tart with salty goat’s feta and smoky caramelised onions, we decided it could definitely work for us.
Pumpkin, Feta & Smoky Onion Tart
150g (1 cup) quinoa flour
100g chickpea flour (besan)
75g (1/2 cup) black sesame seeds
Pinch of sea salt
100ml extra virgin olive oil
4 red onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
250g roast pumpkin (see tip)
75g goat’s feta, broken into large chunks
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Place baking tray in the oven to heat.
Put the flours, sesame seeds and salt in a heatproof bowl.
Combine the olive oil and 100ml of water in a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together – it may be a little crumbly.
Press the dough into a 24 m fluted tart tin, line with baking paper and pour in some baking beads or uncooked rice. Place the tart tin on the heated baking tray (this will help the bottom of the pastry cook evenly) and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, remove the paper and whatever you used as weights and bake for 15 minutes more, or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Head the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and smoked paprika and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until the onion is sticky and caramelised. Keep an eye on the onion so it doesn’t catch and burn. Allow to cool slightly.
Line the cooked pastry base with the onion, then top the scoops of the roast pumpkin, large chunks of the feta and scatter on the rosemary leaves. Pour over the egg and bake for 20 minutes, or until the egg is set and the tart is golden.
Tip: Take a whole pumpkin in its skin, pop it onto a baking tray and bake in the oven until it is really soft, then simply scoop out the flesh.
Jody Vassallo is hosting a Women’s Wellbeing Conference in Bangalow on 10 October 2015. Entitled Balancing the Busy, the conference focuses on equipping women with tools to help them manage health and happiness in a fast-paced world. Find out more information here.