- 700g pumpkin or 1 small squash
Pumpkins are the most famous of all the winter squashes, and are most associated with Halloween…
- 5 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- grating of nutmeg
- 2 small fennel bulbs
Like Marmite, fennel is something that you either love or hate - its strong aniseed flavour…
- juice ½ small lemon
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- ½ tsp fennel seeds, toasted and coarsely crushed
A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…
- 470g spinach, coarse stalks removed
Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…
- 15g unsalted butter
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tsp milk (to make an egg wash)
- 200g Taleggio (or vegetarian alternative), sliced
- 375g puff pastry
Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Peel the squash, then halve and deseed it before cutting the flesh into thick wedges and halving them again to make quarters. Put the slices in a roasting tin with half the olive oil, the nutmeg and seasoning, and toss to coat. Roast for 30 mins, or until tender and a little caramelised.
Halve the fennel bulbs lengthways and remove the tops and tough outer leaves from each piece. Trim the base and cut each half into thick wedges, keeping them intact at the base. Put the wedges straight into a bowl and toss with the lemon juice to prevent discolouring. Add the fennel seeds, remaining olive oil and some seasoning, then toss well. Spread the fennel in a roasting tin large enough to hold it in a single layer and cover with foil. Roast the fennel (at the same time as the squash) for 20 mins, or until tender with pale -gold undersides.
Wash the spinach and cook in a covered pan over a medium heat for 1-2 mins. When wilted, drain in a colander and leave to cool. Squeeze the excess moisture out of the spinach, chop roughly and season. Melt the butter in a frying pan and quickly fry the spinach with the garlic for 3 mins. Set aside.
Roll out the pastry to make the base of the tart, ending up with a piece measuring roughly 28 x 38cm. Put the pastry base on to a floured metal baking sheet. Create a border all the way round by lightly running a knife 2cm from the edge. Prick the rest of the pastry all over with a fork. Put a rectangle of baking parchment, the size of the inside of the border, over the pastry. Weight it down with baking beans. Knock up the sides of the pastry by holding a small knife at a right angle to the pastry and making small indentations to release the layers. This will give you a better rise. Paint the border with the egg wash.
Put the pastry in the preheated oven and cook for 25 mins, removing the beans and paper after 15 mins. Take the partially cooked tart base out of the oven and, if the centre has risen, gently flatten it with the back of a wooden spoon. Turn the oven up to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Spoon the spinach onto the pastry, then put the squash and fennel on top. Distribute the cheese over the top, too. Put the tart back into the oven and cook for a further 25 mins. The cheese should be golden in patches and the pastry should be cooked and golden, but not too dark.