This Roasted Red Pepper Fennel Tart is rich, decadent and oh so good!
This tart was born out of ingredients that were in my fridge just waiting to be made into something delicious. I made this just after Beto and clan had stayed with us a few weeks back. I had planned on making them my roasted fennel buckwheat tart but we decided to go out for dinner instead. I had also planned on roasting red peppers for our beach picnic but I forgot to. So, with the unused fennel, red peppers along with a tomato Jill happen to leave behind, I came up with this tart. I guess you can say it’s a Mediterranean style tart. It’s best served with a green salad and a crisp glass of wine.
There is so much craziness going on in the world as of late and I normally pride myself on being able to block it out. But sometimes it can be difficult when something happens in a place where I spent time in or where a friend is from. I was fortunate enough to visit Turkey with my friend Maggie a number of years ago. Maggie and I were traveling in Europe at the time and she had asked me if I wanted to go to Turkey with her. At the time I really knew nothing about Turkey, but I eagerly said yes! Our plan was to meet up with her relatives that were living on an American/Turkish air force base in Adana.
We flew from London to Dalaman and then caught a bus to Fethiye where we stayed the night. Fethiye was right on the ocean and it was so incredibly beautiful! We found a cheap hotel to stay in and the manager told us about a wonderful local place to eat. It was an outside restaurant run by a local family. We had some great food and a night of classic Turkish music and dancing.
The next day, we took a bus along the coast to our final destination. It was a twenty hour long bus ride, which normally would take 11 hours by car. The bus ride wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t been for a 17 year old bus steward that apparently had it in for us. There were maybe two other women on the bus and the rest were men. Almost everyone was smoking, so Maggie asked the steward if he could open the vents on the roof of the bus. They were barely open and we hoped that he would open them more since the windows on the sides of the bus could not be opened. Instead, he closed the vents completely and gave us a look like too bad for you! I had also put my feet on a metal box that was in front of our seats and he came over and shoved my feet off. Maggie and I both looked at each other and then started to talk back to him. Thank goodness there was a really nice man sitting behind us who had told the steward to leave us alone and he did.
We finally arrived at Maggie’s aunt’s house and were enthusiastically greeted by Maggie’s cute little cousins. The next day, Maggie’s aunt took us to a local restaurant that had some of the best food I have ever had. The meal consisted of small bowls filled with different salads, soups, rice, vegetables and sauces with a giant piece of flat bread. I had no idea what Turkish food was like before my visit but I will tell you that I was in heaven with all the great vegetarian options! After lunch, Maggie’s aunt took us to the cute town near Karatepe. We saw women weaving rugs in a shop’s showroom and decided to take a look. Unfortunately, we didn’t buy any rugs. We also found another shop with a large assortment of beautiful scarves. Maggie and I both bought a bunch. We bought scarves made of crepe with lace stitched on the edges but my favorite ones were gauze scarves that had seed bead flowers dangling off the edges. Of course, I bought one in every color. Aside from the 17-year-old, everyone one we met was extremely nice and helpful, the food was out of this world and the countryside was insanely gorgeous! I would love to spend more time there and I will be praying for peace, love and understanding!
Also, my friend Aysegul from the amazing blog Foolproof Living is from Turkey. While I have never met Aysegul in person, we have been getting to know each other through social media. She has been a great inspiration and very helpful to me. Luckily, Aysegul’s family and friends are ok but it’s scary nonetheless.
- 1 Recipe Toasted Almond Oat Crust – recipe below
- 2 Red Bell Peppers – roasted
- 1 Fennel Bulb – cut in half – cored – cut halves in half – thinly slice
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Dash of Salt
- 1/2 White Onion – diced
- 1 Garlic Clove – minced
- 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1 3/4 Cups manchego – shredded – divided
- 1 Cup Pecorino – shredded
- 8 oz. Creme Fraiche
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Large Tomato – thinly sliced
- Fresh Basil
- Edible Flowers
- 1 Cup Raw Almonds – ground
- 1 Cup Oat Flour
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds – ground
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 5 Tablespoons Salted Butter
- 1/4 Cup Ice Water or until it sticks together (don’t over do it)
Onions and cream sauce
Bell Peppers are extremely high in vitamin A, which helps to support healthy eyesight especially night vision. It is also very high in vitamin C, which is really important for the skin. They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E. They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain. They are a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese. Red peppers are one of the veggies highest in lycopene and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, giving many fruits and vegetables their color, especially tomatoes, that are great for the prevention of cancers in the bladder, prostate, cervix and pancreas.
Fennel is a very good source of fiber that helps limit cholesterol build-up and helps to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood. The fiber also helps remove carcinogens from the colon and it can eliminate constipation. It contains the phytonutrient anethole, the main part of its volatile oil that has been shown to reduce inflammation and also helping prevent the occurrence of cancer. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is helpful for eye inflammation, and reduces premature aging and macular degeneration. There are high levels of potassium in the fennel bulbs and seeds and can help increase brain function and cognitive abilities and it also increases the reach of oxygen to the brain. The fronds above the fennel bulbs contain important vitamins, like pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.