This is a delicious tart, full of healthy spinach, which is perfectly complemented by the flavour of the goat's cheese.
Serves 6, Vegetarian
For the shortcrust pastry (makes 400g (14oz))
200g (7oz) plain flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
100g (3½2oz) chilled butter, cubed
½2-1 medium egg, beaten
For the tart filling
250g (9oz) baby or destalked large spinach leaves
7 baby new potatoes, unpeeled
250ml (9fl oz) double cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Zest of ½2 lemon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
25g (1oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated
150g (5oz) goat's cheese, 6-7mm (½4-½2in) slices
You will also need a 25cm (10in) diameter tart tin.
1. To make the pastry, place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and whiz briefly. Add half the beaten egg and continue to whiz. You might add a little more egg, but not too much as the mixture should be just moist enough to come together. If making by hand, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs then, using your hands, add just enough egg to bring it together. With your hands, flatten out the ball of dough until it is about 2cm (¾in) thick (4), then wrap in cling film or place in a plastic bag (5) and put in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes before using.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4. You will need to 'blind' bake the pastry case before adding the filling. Line the tart tin with the pastry and then a layer of foil, greaseproof or parchment paper, leaving plenty to come up the sides. Fill with baking beans or dried pulses. and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry feels dry.
Remove the paper and beans, brush with a little leftover beaten egg and return to the oven for 2 minutes. If there are any little holes or cracks in the pastry, just patch them up with any leftover raw pastry before you return it to the oven. Remove from the oven and set aside in the tin while you make the filling. The tart case can be baked a day in advance and kept covered until you need it.
3. To prepare the filling, wash and spin the spinach, removing any tough stalks and stems if using large spinach leaves. In a medium-sized saucepan, cook the spinach in just the water that's clinging to it over a low heat until it wilts. Drain in a colander or sieve and allow to cool a little, then squeeze most of the moisture out with your hands and chop roughly.
4. Meanwhile, steam or boil the potatoes until just cooked, and cool on a tray or board. When cool enough to handle, cut into 5mm (½4in) slices.
5. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the eggs and add the cream, salt and pepper, lemon zest, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and Parmesan. Whisk these ingredients together then add the spinach and mix through. Season well as the potatoes are very mild and need a good contrast.
6. Spread the potato slices over the base of the prepared tart case and dot with the goat's cheese (retain a few slices of each to place on the top, if you wish). Gently spoon over the spinach cream mixture as high as you can go. If you are concerned about spillage, carry the tart minus the last few spoons of filling over to the oven. Place in the oven, spoon over the remaining filling and any remaining potato and cheese slices.
7. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the tart is golden brown and just set in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Scallops are one of the easiest things to cook and make for a light and tasty springtime meal.
225g (8oz) strawberries, sliced
450g (1lb) rhubarb, chopped
2-3 tbsp caster sugar
For the crumble
150g (5oz) plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
75g (3oz) butter, chilled and cubed
25g (1oz) porridge oats
75g (3oz) soft light brown sugar
You will also need a 1 litre (1¾ pint) pie dish or six ramekins
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4.
2. Mix together the strawberries and the rhubarb and sprinkle with the sugar. Transfer into the pie dish or six ramekins.
3. To make the crumble, place the flour and cinnamon (if using) in a large bowl, add the butter and, using your fingertips, rub it in until the mixture resembles very coarse breadcrumbs. (Don't rub in too much or the crumble will not be crunchy.) Add the oats and sugar and mix to combine.
4. Sprinkle this crumble mixture over the fruit mixture and bake for 15 minutes for small crumbles or 30-45 minutes for a large one until cooked and golden. Serve warm with a dollop of crème fraiche mixed with a little lime zest and a squeeze of lime juice.
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