Black sesame tart with mushrooms and feta

Photographer: Emma
Makes one standard tart or 3 small tarts

Rugby has been kind of a universal language for the past few months.  On numerous occasions I have found myself talking to strangers about such topics as Dan Carter’s groin injury, a non-regulation mouth guard, the strength of backs or the speed of forwards.  I love rugby and it’s thanks to this event that I’ve have had a positively enjoyable winter. Unfortunately there are only 2 weeks to go and then I suppose we will have to take down the flags strewn colourfully around the office and say farewell to our vibrant visitors.

The party will be over and us Kiwis will be left crying “where has everyone gone, come on, it’s only early”.


This recipe is for a vegetarian tart but there is something really different and beautiful about the pastry which is used.  It is rich and dark, soy-infused and speckled with black sesame.  And if you don’t like my mushroom and feta combination, use whatever you like.


Black sesame pastry

1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
½ cup black sesame seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
¾ cup water

Tart filling

8 medium Portobello mushrooms
2 tsp olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

200g Feta cheese

3 egg whites
2 whole eggs
200ml cream
200g grated parmesan (or a handful)


1. In a food processor, pulse the flour and sesame seeds.
2. Add the olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce and water and pulse until the mixture only just comes together.
3. Remove from the processor and knead on a floured surface until smooth.
4. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 180ºC on Bake.
6. On a baking tray, lay the mushrooms. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.
7. Bake the mushrooms for 5 – 10 minutes.
8. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft and translucent.

9. Increase the oven to 190ºC.
10. Roll the pastry to approx 5mm thickness, line a tart shell (1 standard size or 3 small). Refrigerate the shell for 10 minutes.
11. Blind bake the tart shell for 10 minutes.
12. Remove the blind baking beans/rice and evenly place the onion and garlic mixture over the base of the shell.
13. Whisk the eggs, cream and cheese together and pour into the tart shell.
14. Lay the mushrooms and feta (I pressed some into the egg mixture and had some exposed to show the beautiful black and white colours).

15. Reduce the oven temperature to 170ºC.
16. Bake for a further 15 minutes, until the egg mixture has set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before removing from the tins.

Serve with a little rocket salad.