Right before I had my daughter, I posted about the “casseroles from kindly neighbors” I expected to be eating after her birth. We did enjoy delicious pastas, chili and hearty comfort foods. Just when I thought the charity was over and I was back on my feet cooking again, we received a delicious surprise. A mid-morning tap on my door announced my neighbor, Tracy, and the delivery of a beautiful, refreshing, vegetarian meal.

Tracy is a bright-eyed, stylish gal and the only person I know who can pull off hats and headscarves and look like a million bucks in them. She also happens to be a fabulous cook. Her husband is a professional saxophone player, known as Skinny Williams. He practices in the lower level of our condo building and often his music wafts into our entrance way and mailbox area. What luck! His jazzy tunes must increase the value of the property.

This colorful tart was such a welcome treat for new, exhausted parents. Tracy delivered it along with a roasted beet, carrot and goat cheese salad, which she said would be good for my blood. If you have the energy and the need to impress or treat a neighbor, skip the lasagna or cake next time and try a French Picnic Tart!

French Picnic Tart with New Potatoes, Red Peppers, Sage, and Gruyere

1 10-inch unbaked tart crust (your favorite recipe or a frozen one from the store)
1 lb baby potatoes
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion thinly sliced (2 cups)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c grated Gruyere cheese (1/4 lb)
2 tbsp minced fresh sage (or 2 tsp dried)
1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place potatoes in saucepan, cover with water, and boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in skillet, add onion and salt, and cook on low heat until onion is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Spread one cup of cheese into bottom of unbaked crust. Spoon onion over the cheese, and sprinkle with sage.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel (if desired) then slice thin. Arrange slices in overlapping concentric circles over cheese. Arrange bell pepper slices over potatoes in ring. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and black pepper to taste.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until crust is golden around edges. Remove tart from oven, and let tart cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve sliced into large wedges either hot, warm, or at room temperature depending on your taste and the temperature outside!

From Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven.

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18 Responses to “French Picnic Tart with Potatoes, Red Peppers, Sage and Gruyere”

  1. Rachel Says:

    Yummy! That sounds wonderful!!! Im also interested in that beet salad!

  2. Amanda Says:

    That tart not only sounds good but looks absolutely delicious! The entire plate screams summer. Now if I only had a cool neighbor who would drop some stuff of for me…

  3. Sandie Says:

    This tart looks phenomenal, loved the story behind this post too!

  4. Anne Says:

    The minute I saw this, I knew I had to make it! And tonight was the night. Of couse I had to customize a little. My first thought was to add crumbled bacon, which I know would be incredible. But not only would Molly Katzen not approve, but my carnivore kid was out and my vegitarian kid was home, so… no bacon. But the veggie kid hates red peppers, so I used sauteed portobellos instead.
    It was amazingly delicious! The family was pleading with me to make it again after their first bite. I cooked way too many potatoes, so I may make it again tomorrow.
    What I learned — I used more cheese than called for due to my general cheese lust. Not the best idea — it was delicious but also a bit greasier than would be ideal. Tomorrow I will show restraint.
    Thanks for a real keeper recipe, Caroline and Tracy!

  5. roasted beet and carrot salad with goat cheese Says:

    [...] After posting about the amazing vegetarian tart my neighbor delivered, Rachel mentioned she was also interested in the beet and carrot salad that was pictured next to it. [...]

  6. Bethany Says:

    Great recipe! I made the crust using this recipe and it added a nice sweetness with the savory gruyere.

    I will definitely use it again and share it. Thanks!

  7. Delicious Lentil Loaf Recipe :: Whipped Says:

    [...] I continue my education of vegetarian cooking from my super-fabulous cook and neighbor, Tracy. I first wrote about her when she delivered this French Picnic Tart to my door shortly after I had Mini-Whipped. A few months later, she came for a visit with her new baby in one arm and a plate full of these warm Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins in the other. So, when she told me her Lentil Loaf was good, I believed her. [...]

  8. chuck r. Says:

    Just happened across this recipe. Two weeks ago I baked a very complex Eggplant Torte that require upwards of three (3) hours to prepare and place in the oven. It was truly awesome and held all of its flavor as left-overs.


  9. My Valley of Love and Delight » It Is Too Beautiful Out There Says:

    [...] my tasty slice of potato tart (I got it from a vegetarian cook-book, which is apparently where this gal got it from, too :-)). I must confess, it was hard coming back inside, it is so beautiful out [...]

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