Recently I've found myself spending a lot of time in cafes, filling in my break times with cups of hot chocolate and the odd slice of brownie or millionaire's shortbread. It's only the fact that I've been making lunches at home that's stopped me from being enticed by the delicious looking tarts and quiches on offer. I may not have bought one, but they've still inspired me and one Friday evening I decided to try something a little fancier for dinner than jacket potato...
I happened to have some ready rolled filo pastry sitting in the fridge (that's not a regular occurence, I promise!) and so this seemed a good way to use at least a little bit of it up. These tarts are beautifully crispy, with great flavours and a couple of them made a delicious dinner accompanied by a bit of buttery sweet potato mash. I made seven individual tarts, but you could easily adapt the recipe to make one big one, or use a different tin to create little ones that would work well as canapés if you fancied.
So here you go, this is how you can make these scrumptious tarts for yourself...
(This recipe is adapted from one on BBC Good food which can be found here.)
To make seven tarts:
2 sheets pre-rolled filo pastry
1/2 a medium courgette
1 small red onion
1/2 a red pepper
50g goats cheese
3 medium eggs
200g crème fraiche
Fresh mint and basil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp herbes de Provence
.Pre-heat your oven to 180°c (160°c fan). Begin by chopping the vegetables into equal sized small pieces, then scatter on a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Pour about 5ml of olive oil into a small pot (or egg cup in my case). Get out your filo pastry sheets. When working with filo pastry, you need to keep anything you're not using covered to prevent it drying out- I used a clean tea towel. Cut into 28 squares of about 8x8cm. Take one square and brush it generously with olive oil. If you have a pastry brush, you could use one, but I just used my finger and had no trouble. (Apart from then being unable to take photos of the pastry.) Place the oiled square into a hole in the muffin tray. Repeat with the rest of the squares, placing them on top of each other so that you have seven lots of four layers. Push them down into the holes of the tray and press down the centres so they are flat.
Put the vegetables on a low shelf in the oven, and the pastry on the top and bake for 10 minutes. After this time, take out the vegetables and leave the pastry for another five minutes to go crisp and golden brown.
While everything is in the oven, you can prepare the filling. Whisk three eggs with the crème fraiche. Finely chop the fresh herbs and add them, along with the other herbs. Everything I've used is just a suggestion based on what I had in, you can adapt to your own tastes and availablity! I'd also like to use this to tell you how proud I am of myself for not killing my basil plant. Yet.
Place half of the vegetables in the bottom of the pastry cases and then pour in the filling mixture. Top with the remaining vegetables and return to the oven for 25 minutes. Chop the goats cheese into 7 cubes, add one to each tart and put back in the oven for a final 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy!
Let me know if you give these a try!