Anyone for a tart?! I’m a huge advocate for the joys of a piece of pastry covered in vegetables and slung in the oven, whilst you get on with important things like checking Twitter, or mediating fights between the children. This Easter they’d be great for a quick lunch on Saturday or on Monday when you don’t feel like cooking a ginormous meal. Just add a green salad with a nice sharp dressing.
Puff pastry tarts really do make the perfect thirty minute lunch if you use ready-rolled pastry (of course, there’s nothing to stop you rolling some out either, but I’m aiming for speed here). We’re talking ten minutes prep, tops, and the rest in the oven.
There is a fantastic version using thinly sliced new potatoes, goats cheese and thyme in my excellent cookbook, Friends, Food, Family (shameless plug: available in all good bookshops and on Amazon now), and I’m very into this version using Tenderstem broccoli at the moment – the long stalks look pretty, and because the spears are narrow, rather than little trees, they cook quickly and rapidly. You could just as easily sub in asparagus once the season kicks off.
The method is simple:
Put a pan of water onto boil, and place a baking sheet in the oven and turn it onto 200C/350F.
(Pre-heating the sheet helps avoid soggy bottom.)
Whilst the oven is heating, steam the broccoli or asparagus until just al dente.
Unwrap and unroll the pastry onto a piece of baking parchment. lightly score an inner rectangle about an inch in all the way around, and arrange the steamed vegetables inside the inner rectangle.
Retrieve the hot baking sheet from the oven, and lift/slide the tart onto the sheet. (You can leave it on the paper.)
Brush the outer inch of the pastry with a beaten whole egg, sprinkle the veg with olive oil, and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is browned. Do be careful not to overcook it as the broccoli will go tough
Scatter sea salt on top, and maybe some feta cheese to serve.
Style notes: my lovely navy blue off shoulder top is from Limited Edition by Marks & Spencer. £12 in the sale!
Lipstick: CHANEL Rouge Allure Velvet in 53 La Mysterieuse (sold out everywhere but Debenhams seem to be the only stockists for this colour here.)
Tea Towel: Ikea
Baking tray: Professional Catering Heavy Duty Aluminium Bakeware £10.49 on Amazon