Recipe: Broccoli Tart with Red Onion Jam & Walnut Pesto

Feel free to experiment with this tart and use other veggies, it will taste just as good. 

Words: Michael Van de Elzen

This has to be one of my most favourite recipes. It’s full of flavour, looks great, and it’s easy and quick to prepare. I’ve used broccoli for this recipe, but it works just as well with other veggies such as cauliflower, sweetcorn, and even kumara. We make the pastry by hand when we do this recipe at the cooking school, but you can use supermarket-bought pastry.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes


1 head broccoli, long stalks intact, cut into florets
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
pinch salt
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup onion jam, see recipe below
100g washed rind cheese
freshly ground black pepper
8 purple basil leaves
walnut pesto, see recipe below


Preheat the oven to 190°C. Make the onion jam (recipe below).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the broccoli for 3 minutes, then place in a bowl of iced water for 3 minutes to halt cooking.  Drain well, toss in oil and salt, then chargrill in a pan or on the barbecue until coloured.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Lay one sheet of pastry on the tray, brush with egg, then lay a second sheet on top. Cut away the inside of the top pastry sheet, leaving a 3cm square border – be careful not to cut the sheet underneath.

Prick the pastry in the square with a fork. Spread the onion jam inside the square, add the broccoli and top with dollops of cheese.

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Brush the pastry border with egg, sprinkle salt and pepper over the whole thing, then bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden. Garnish with the walnut chilli pesto and purple basil leaves.

Red Onion Jam

Makes: 2 cups
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes


3 red onions, finely sliced
⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
pinch salt


Place all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan. Cook on a medium heat for about 12 minutes, or until thick and syrupy.

Walnut Chilli Pesto

Prep time: 10 minutes


70g walnuts
1 chilli, deseeded and finely diced
30g finely grated parmesan cheese
8 large basil leaves, finely chopped
pinch salt
⅔ cup avocado oil
juice and zest of half a lemon


Toast the walnuts in a hot frying pan until warm. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, and roughly crush. Add the chilli, parmesan, basil, and salt, and mix. Stir in the oil and lemon.


Recipe: Michael Van de Elzen’s Plum Frangipane Puff Tart

Recipe: Chargrilled Cauliflower Tarts

NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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