Pastry lightly flavoured with smoked paprika and sumac encases a delicious filling of herby ricotta and roasted vegetables – all cleverly packaged to look like a veg patch!
Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/Gas 7.
Make the pastry. Put the flour, butter, smoked paprika, sumac, salt and lemon zest in a bowl. Rub the mixture together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and use your fingers to bring together the mixture to a ball of dough.
Cut off a 75g piece of pastry and set aside in a bowl. Lightly flour a piece of baking paper and place the larger piece of pastry on top. Flatten the pastry a little with your hand and place a second piece of baking paper on top of it. Roll out between the two sheets of baking paper until the pastry is large enough to line the flan tin with an overhang.
Line the tin and trim off the excess pastry. Place the trimmings in the bowl with the reserved 75g of pastry. Chill the pastry case in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Add the activated charcoal to the reserved pastry and trimmings, then rub together until the pastry turns black. Set aside.
Scrunch up a piece of baking paper and use this to line the chilled pastry case. Fill with baking beans and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes, until the pastry case is firm and has taken on some colour. Set aside.
Crumble up the charcoal pastry and scatter it over the lined (and oiled, if using) baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Make the filling. Put both colours of plum tomato, and the asparagus, baby carrots, baby courgettes and podded peas in a roasting tin. Drizzle over the sunflower oil, add the crushed garlic and the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, until softened, then remove and allow to cool in the tray for 5 minutes.
Reduce the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6.
Beat together the eggs, ricotta, basil and mustard in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the pastry case, then scatter over the roasted vegetables and the sundried tomatoes. Bake for 15 minutes, until the filling is just set.
Prepare the garnish. Blanch the carrots, asparagus and pea pods in boiling water for 2 minutes to soften slightly, then remove with a slotted spoon and plunge them into a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking.
Sprinkle the black pastry crumbs over half of the tart to resemble soil. Position the blanched vegetables in the ‘soil’ and finish with the basil leaves.