This vegetable tart is no-nonsense cooking, like I LOVE and it is super delish. I am making the most of the spring veg in season.
Found a veg lurking in the bottom of the fridge? THE best way to make best use of almost passed their freshness date vegetables is to either make a soup or a vegetable tart. You could also make a quiche which is with an egg mixture, but I felt like something a bit different so I made a béchamel with olive oil and thyme infused milk.
BÉCHAMEL – this is a French cooking technique to create a white sauce thick enough to use in lasagne, soufflé and tarts. Traditionally made with flour and butter, I used olive oil as well to be honest I forgot the bloody butter but olive oil does the trick perfectly as well! The ratio flour to butter and flour to olive oil is 1:1, for 500ml milk 2 table spoons is fine. I used a little more flour as I wanted a thicker consistency for the tart. I infused the milk with fresh thyme and grated nutmeg, 2 of my favourite flavours.
STEP 1 – clean and peel the vegetables. Blanch them and pat them dry.
STEP 2 – Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes in pre heated oven at 180C.
STEP 3 – Infuse the milk with thyme and fresh grated nutmeg by gently simmering it for 20 minutes.
STEP 4 – Heat the olive oil and add the flour. Stir constantly while cooking out the flour for 2 minutes. This will take out the flour taste.
STEP 5 – Add a little bit of milk and whisk, when absorbed add more milk. Continue to whisk and when absorbed add the rest. Keep stirring till sickened and sticking to the back of a metal spoon.
STEP 6 – Add a layer of béchamel to the blind baked pastry and load up the vegetables. Let a few asparagus heads stick out of the tin. Bake in pre heated oven 180C for 20 minutes covered with alluvium foil and than another 20 minutes without the foil. Serve topped with burrata and flowers.
CRUST – I bought the short pastry in the shop but you can of course make it yourself but sometimes I admit I just go for shop-bought
EDIBLE FLOWERS – I love little violets and nasturtium (capucines) , so pretty and so easy to grow in a window box or garden. They are mostly pretty and don’t give that much flavour but are totally edible.
BURRATA – This Italian cheese made from cow or buffalo called burrata is the cheese in a step further than mozzarella. It has a creamy centre and the outer shell is mozzarella. This is my favourite of the Italian fresh cheeses, I just LOVE the creaminess. You can use it cold dotted on the tart or when topped and reheated it becomes lovely stringy – totally delish.
My spring vegetable tart loaded with burrata and flowers
Yield 4 portions
- 1 shortcrust pastry shop bought or homemade
- handfull leftover spring veg white and green asparagus and spring onions, peeled and chopped
- 500 ml milk
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 table spoon flour
- 2 table spoon olive oil
- 1 tea spoon grated nutmeg
- salt and peper
- 1 burrata
- 4-5 voilets and nasturtiums
- Bling bake the shortcrust pastry in the tin with baking beads on parchment paper for 15 minutes in preheated oven at 180C.
- Blanch the vegetables in hot water for a few seconds, remove and pat dry.
- Simmer the milk with thyme for about 20 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil in to and add the flour. Continuously stir and cook out the flour for about 2 minutes.
- Add a little of the infused milk and stir until absorbed. Add some more and again stir till absorbed. Add the last of the milk and keep stirring till the mixture thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon.
- Layer the béchamel on the cooked tart shell, add the blanched vegetables, keep a few asparagus tops out of the tin ( they will crisp up nicely)
- Bake covered with foil for 20 minutes in preheated oven at 180C, remove foil and bake a further 20 minutes till cooked and bubbly.
- Serve topped with burrata and fresh edible flowers. Can be reheated in the oven when spring later.
on www.leeksandhighheels.com by Sandra Slawinski
Written and photographed by Sandra Slawinski without commercial deals. I used my Dille&Kamille tart tin and baking beads. Le Creuset pot.