Reasons I love baby led weaning…
- I don’t waste time or energy steaming/pureeing/packaging/freezing/thawing/reheating baby food
- Meal times are FUN!
- Meal times are a special time for our family to enjoy food TOGETHER!
- There are no silly choo choo eating games!
- I get to watch Grace’s hilarious facial expressions as she explores and enjoys her food
and the number one reason I love blw is…
- I get to watch Grace’s ‘creative’ eating style develop. Each day little miss comes up with new and improved manoeuvres for ferrying the delicious food that rests in front of her into her little mouth and as I see her smile in delight when she succeeds my heart melts every time. And I feel like one very proud mama seeing how beautifully her hand eye coordination is coming along.
And today as she sat happily in her high chair munching away at her mediterranean vegetable tart I couldn’t help but silently giggle as she demolished her way through the golden flaky pastry smeared with a lovely layer of lemon spiked ricotta. Seeing her pick apart, carefully inspect then gobble up the toppings of grilled eggplant, zucchini, juicy cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives and boccincini provided me with another proud mama bear moment. Ah the little things…
To make these tarts simply…
Start by thinly slicing half an eggplant. Arrange the slices on an oven tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with a little olive oil and place under a hot grill for 3-5 minutes, just until the eggplants have softened slightly and turned a little golden.
Flip the eggplant and grill for a further minute or two, just until they are a little golden. The eggplant doesn’t have to be cooked completely, they’ll be finished off in the oven a top the tart later. Set aside.
Next, prepare your veggies by halving a handful of cherry tomatoes and thinly slicing a zucchini using a vegetable peeler. Set aside.
Next place the ricotta, lemon zest and chopped herbs in a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
Grab one sheet of thawed puff pastry and cut (in a seesaw fashion) into quarters and place the pastry on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Using a small knife score (do not cut all the way through the pastry) the edges to create a border (as above) and using a fork prick holes in the middle section.
Assembly time! Divide the ricotta mixture among the tarts and spread evenly.
Top with zucchini, grilled eggplant, tomatoes, olives and bocconcini. Bake in a preheated 180 degree celsius oven for 15 minutes or until the pastry is cooked, golden and puffed.
To serve drizzle each tart with a little basil pesto and adorn with a small handful of fresh rocket and extra cherry tomatoes.
Mediterranean vegetable tarts
half an eggplant, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 zucchini, thinly sliced using a vegetable peeler
half a punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted
4 bocconcini balls
1/2 cup ricotta
zest of a lemon
1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped ( I used parsley and thyme)
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
Rocket, cherry tomatoes and basil pesto to serve
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Heat grill to high heat.
Place eggplant on a tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and grill for 2-3 minutes each side until golden and almost cooked. Set aside.
In a small bowl place ricotta, lemon zest and fresh herbs and mix to combine. Set aside.
Cut puff pastry sheet into four and place squares of pastry on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Score (do not cut all the way through the pastry) each square with a 1-2 centimetre border and using a fork prick the middle of each tart.
Divide the ricotta mixture among the tarts and spread evenly to the edge of the border. Top with zucchini, tomatoes, olives, grilled eggplant and bocconcini and bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is cooked, golden and puffed.
To serve drizzle each tart with a little pesto and top with a small handful of rocket and a few extra cherry tomatoes.
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