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Member recipe

Tomato & Asparagus Tart

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Servings

Serves 6

Hearty and substantial, excellent for starter or as part of the main meal, and could also be served as a supper. A great dish for picnics and summer garden parties.

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Ingredients

  • FOR THE PASTRY:
  • 150g plain flour
  • 75g butter, diced
  • 50ml water
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil, optional
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears (roughly about 8)
  • 100g spinach leaves
  • 3 large eggs, hand beaten
  • 150ml double cream
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
  • 8 small cherry tomatoes, halved
  • handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 25g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • S & P

Method

    1. Preheat oven to 190C Grease a 9" tart tin with margarine.
    2. TO MAKE PASTRY: Place butter, flour and herbs all together in a bowl. With the fingertips, rub the butter and seasoned flour together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, whizz the butter and seasoned flour together in a food processor/Kenwood, to speed things up! Once mixed, add a little water, combining the mixture together with a palette knife. Keep adding water until the mixture has bonded.
    3. Roll out the pastry until approx. just under 1/2 cm thick and wide enough to cover dish. Flop the pastry in half, placing it over half of the dish, then fold the pastry out to cover the other half of the dish. Rearrange the pastry so that there are no air-gaps between the dish and the pastry. Then, with a rolling pin, roll off the ragged edges of pastry from around the edge of the dish.
    4. Prick the base with a fork. If you prefer to "bake blind", scrumple up a circle of baking parchment and unfold again. Place the parchment on top of the pastry and pour the baking beans on top. Put the pastry in the oven for 8 mins. Once time is up, remove the parchment and beans and place back in the oven for a further 8 mins.
    5. Whilst pastry is baking, mix together the beaten eggs, double cream, crushed garlic and S & P. Combine with a whisk. Halve cherry tomatoes, slicing horizontally across the tomato (as opposed to slicing straight through the centre where the stem comes from). For looks sake, this gives equal halves, where the centres look the same.
    6. Now bring a small pan of salted water to the boil. Add asparagus and blanch for 1 minute. Remove and pat dry. Add the spinach to the boiling water, then remove immediately and pat dry.
    7. If the asparagus is quite chunky, halve lengthways - however, do this after it is cooked.
    8. Once pastry is out of the oven, lay blanched spinach on the bottom of the pastry base. Add the asparagus, grated cheese and tomatoes, cut side up in any arrangement you like. Scatter over the basil and finally add the egg mixture on top.
    9. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 25 mins, or until filling is firm when prodded.
    10. Note: I deserve no thanks for the pastry ingredients, as I've taken it from Luke Bolam's recipe for 'Mini Quiche Lorraines'. It works so well i've used it ever since! ...see link: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1514633/mini-quiche-lorraines

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