Wholesome Cook
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Imperfect Zucchini, Asparagus and Eggplant Dip Tarts

Quite to the contrary, the spring flavours of this zucchini and asparagus tart are rather perfect. Not to mention the fact that the eggplant and garlic base doubles as a fantastic dip.

Imperfect Picks Zucchini Asparagus and Eggplant Dip Tart

When it comes to spring flavours, you can’t go wrong with new season locally grown produce. Some of which, I am proud to say, I managed to grow myself this year with a little help from Indira Naidoo’s The Edible Balcony book – it’s a treasure trove of tips for anyone wanting to try their hand at growing their own food and seasonal recipes to match.

Imperfect Picks Zucchini Asparagus and Eggplant Dip Tart

At the beginning of winter I planted a few organic purple garlic cloves in the planter boxes outside and a few days ago it looked ripe for picking. As I peeled back the soft, thin layers of purply-white skin to reveal a handful of closes inside was very exciting. It is the first time ever I’ve grown garlic myself. The aroma that filled the air was mesmerizing.

So, you might ask, what’s imperfect about the tart? Well, the imperfection here stems from the veggies themselves.

Imperfect Picks Zucchini Asparagus and Eggplant Dip Tart

Inspired, no doubt, by the recent InterMarche Inglorious Fruit and Veg campaign in France, earlier this month Harris Farm Markets launched  their own #ImperfectPicks campaign. It helps reduce food waste, pays farmers for their imperfect but just as tasty crops otherwise destined for the heap and saves you money. Rescued fruit and veg is being sold at half price their perfect equivalent. 

How good is that?! 

Imperfect Picks Zucchini Asparagus and Eggplant Dip Tart

Last week, I received a small sample of Imperfect Picks fruit and veg to experiment with. I used the unshapely pears for this lemongrass tea poached pear dessert (saving the skins and the liquid as a refreshing compote) and thought a spring veggie tart would be a great way to use the zucchini and eggplant. A nice change to my regular grilled zucchini with herbs number, too.

Imperfect Picks Zucchini Asparagus and Eggplant Dip Tart

The tart itself is a rustic but posh at the same time, a different way to enjoy a weekend breakfast or weeknight dinner in fact.

Topped with new season Aussie asparagus spears and imperfect zucchini slices, it is dotted with pops of fresh basil straight from my garden. It is a feat because most of the time it’s caterpillars that get to enjoy my herbs. You can serve it with crispy fried eggs and a drizzle of truffle oil, or for an extra kick, a dollop of Greek yoghurt and Harissa or chipotle chilli paste.

Imperfect Picks Zucchini Asparagus and Eggplant Dip Tart

So, tell me dear reader, what have you got growing in your veggie garden? What’s ready for harvest?

Are you planning on planting new things this year? 

Imperfect Picks Zucchini Asparagus and Eggplant Dip Tart

Imperfect Zucchini, Asparagus and Eggplant Dip Tarts
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5 from 1 vote

Imperfect Zucchini, Asparagus and Eggplant Dip Tart

I used Careme all butter and additive-free puff pastry for this. For a gluten-free version, try gluten-free puff or you could use Careme gluten-free shortcrust pastry instead. While I served mine with eggs, other options include caramelised onion, prosciutto, yoghurt with harissa paste.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 2


For the Eggplant Dip spread:

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons macadamia or olive oil
  • a grind sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup water

For the Tart:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 2/3 cup eggplant dip see above
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 small bunch baby asparagus
  • 1 sprig fresh basil

To top:

  • 2 tablespoons macadamia or olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons truffle oil optional
  • other options: caramelised onion prosciutto, yoghurt with Harissa paste


To make the Eggplant Dip base:

  • Trim stalk end off the eggplant, discard, chop eggplant into 1 inch dice. Peel garlic cloves.
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring for 5 or so minutes, or until the eggplant is lightly caramelised. Season with salt and pepper. Add water and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the water has mostly evaporated and the eggplant is soft, Turn off the heat and add garlic, mix and allow to cool before processing till smooth.

To make the Tarts:

  • Place pastry on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Allow to thaw out before cutting in half. Trim about 1cm off each edge and fold onto the pastry to form a border around the tart. Poke the base around with a fork.
  • Spread about 1/3 cup of the eggplant dip onto each tart, staying within the borders. Sprinkle with
  • dried herbs. Finely slice zucchini and arrange rounds on top of the tarts. Trim woody ends off the asparagus, and arrange spears on top of the zucchini.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry edges are risen and golden.

In the meantime, prepare the toppings:

  • To crispy fry the eggs, heat oil in a large pan over medium heat for a minute. Crack in the eggs and cook for 5-6 minutes sunny side up until the whites are crisp on the bottom and set on top.

To serve:

  • Serve warm tarts with egg on top and drizzle with truffle oil, if using.
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholesomecook or tag #wholesomecook




Lara Spencer September 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm

This looks scrumptious Martyna, and better still using produce that’s perfectly fine to enjoy.
Finally people are starting to understand that eating real food means imperfections. Good on HFM for embracing the change.

Mel A September 18, 2014 at 2:52 pm

What a great idea and oh my – that tart looks so delicious. With egg of course. And maybe bacon on the weekend haha.

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef September 18, 2014 at 8:06 pm

That’s an outstanding tart. I’d love to eat it! :)

Joy Roxborough September 19, 2014 at 4:33 am

Me too!

Angela Bottero September 19, 2014 at 7:06 am

Not only is it wonderful our farmers are getting paid for their hardwork, but these veggies look real! The way nature intended. Hats off to Harris Farm Markets for taking the brave step and taking the initiative. I’m sure the Coles and Woolworths will be kicking themselves for not being the first to do so. As for your gorgeous tart, it’s going on the weekend brunch menu! Do you have any recommendations for a GF/DF pastry to substitute the puff pastry for?

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook September 25, 2014 at 10:13 am

Hi Angela,
My apologies it’s taken me this long to reply… I’ve looked everywhere for wholesome (read, additive-free) gluten and dairy free pastry, with little success. Most either contain dairy or are filled with less than desirable ingredients. You could make your own galette style pastry with almond meal, coconut oil and egg – I have been experimenting with ratios but not quite there yet to share. I guess the other option would be to stir-fry the veggies a little and serve this on your favourite gluten-free bread. :-)

Kyla September 29, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Made this for dinner tonight. So easy & delicious!!! Will definitely be making again. Thank you.

Chelsey Brooks September 30, 2014 at 2:48 pm

This sure looks tasty! Thanks for sharing your recipe!


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