- 500g block all-butter shortcrust pastry
- flour, for dusting
Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…
For the filling
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 175g button mushrooms, sliced
- 140g baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- 5 eggs, beaten
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
- 100ml milk
One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…
- 200ml double cream
- 200g mature English cheddar, grated
- 2 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…
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Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a deep 22cm flan tin. Let the edges overhang, don’t trim them yet. Chill in the fridge or freezer for at least 15 mins.
Line the tart case with baking parchment and fill it with baking beans. Place on a baking tray, then bake for 15-20 mins. Remove the beans and parchment, then return to the oven for another 5 mins to cook the base. Remove, then reduce oven temperature to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then cook the mushrooms for 1 min. Add the spinach, then cook for 3 mins more or until wilted down. Combine the eggs with the milk and cream in a jug and season well. Build up the tart by sprinkling the cheese onto the base, then scatter over the vegetables and pour over the cream and egg mix. Sprinkle the thyme over the top, then bake for 40-45 mins or until set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Trim the pastry edges and serve in slices with the salads, below.
Watercress & spring onion salad
Heat a pan over a medium heat, add a splash of oil, then fry 4 shallots, sliced into thin rings, for 2-3 mins. Add 2 tsp sugar and 4 tbsp white wine vinegar. Bring to the boil, then set pan aside. Toss 3 bunches of trimmed spring onions in a little oil. Heat a griddle pan until hot, then cook the onions for 2-3 mins. Turn, cook for 2-3 mins more until charred, then remove and place in a bowl with shallots and 4 tbsp oil. Season and toss with 4 bunches watercress.
Fennel & celery crunch salad
Place 2 finely sliced fennel bulbs and 6 finely sliced celery sticks in a bowl of iced water, then set aside for 30 mins. Place the zest and juice of 2 lemons in a large bowl, stir in 5 tbsp olive oil, then toss through the drained fennel and celery. Season with salt, then scatter over a small bunch of snipped chives to serve.
Spicy bean salad
Heat a pan and add a little olive oil. Fry 4 finely sliced shallots, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 2 deseeded and finely chopped red chillies for 2-3 mins, then remove from the heat. Tip the shallot mix into a serving bowl with 2 cans of mixed beans, rinsed and drained, and 5 tbsp olive oil and toss together. Add a handful of chopped parsley leaves, season to taste, mix well and serve.