Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetable Tart

So delicious.

This is very easy to put together – the most difficult thing is chopping the vegetables!

I really love the huge amount of flavour that the basil pesto gives to this tart. It adds zing to the whole dish, and the slight saltiness of the feta cheese is the perfect contrast. I used basil pesto from a jar, but if you have home-made then I’m sure it will be even better.

There are plenty of adaptations possible too – substitute one of the vegetables for mushrooms for example, or add some toasted pine nuts just before serving to give extra crunch.

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 1 sheet frozen short-crust pastry, thawed
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 500g/1 lb skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 medium zucchini (about 200g/7 oz), quartered then thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red capsicum (bell pepper), thinly sliced
  • 1 Lebanese (finger) eggplant, halved then thinly sliced
  • 100g/3.5 oz feta cheese, finely diced
  • fresh basil leaves, optional, to serve

Method:

  • Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan forced/390F.
  • Spray a 23cm/9 inch loose-bottomed fluted tart pan with a little cooking spray, then use the pastry to line the base and sides.
  • Place the pan on a baking tray and then bake the empty pastry shell for 12-15 minutes or until just turning golden.
  • Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and seal the chicken in batches. Don’t cook it for too long – you just want to seal the pieces. The cooking process will be completed in the oven.
  • Once the pastry has part-baked, remove it from the oven and spread half the pesto over the base.
  • Mix the chicken and vegetables in a bowl then pile into the pastry case.
  • Dollop the remaining pesto over the top of the filling.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and scatter over the diced feta cheese.
  • Bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to sit on the baking tray for 10 minutes before removing from the tart pan and placing on your serving plate.
  • Top with a few fresh basil leaves, if using.
  • Enjoy!

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