31 October 2012

Silverbeet: Tart with Blue Cheese

A tart or quiche is a great way to use up lots of leafy green vegetables - silverbeet, kale, chard, spinach (or anything green dying in the fridge), combined with cheese and cream they take on a whole new level of YUM. Tarts can be quite rich so you don't need a large piece to be satisfied, and served with a big salad it is just right for a spring time lunch...

Don't like blue cheese? substitute goat's cheese or gruyere. I never used to eat blue cheese until my husband made a potato and blue cheese gratin and I have never looked back. A cheesy tart always goes well with a salad with sweet components - like apple or pear; for my salad I have mixed thinly sliced sharp green apple, walnuts and the super fresh peas I got straight from the vine (they are still so small and sweet that you can eat them pods & all) and a very zesty lemon vinaigrette.

Ingredients: makes one large tart in a 24cm diameter quiche dish or 8 small tarts in 7cm tins...
NB: if using small tins like mine, grease and flour them really, really well or you will never get the tarts out in one piece!
  • 1 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • approximately 4 tablespoons cold water
** I also added about 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves to my pastry which I had in the house

  • 80 g blue cheese
  • 1 bunch of silverbeet, chopped & blanched, green part only (about 1 & 3/4 cups when blanched)
  • 1/2 a small red onion, thinly sliced and softened in the pan
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup cream (thin pouring cream)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt & pepper, to taste 
  1. To make the pastry: sift flour into a large bowl, add cubed butter and oil then use your fingertips to rub together until combined to a coarse crumb consistency. At this stage you do not have to worry too much about 'over working' the dough and making the pastry tough, that said - you shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to do this step
  2. Add cold water to the flour/ butter stirring quickly to combine (it is at this stage you do not want to over handle your pastry), pressing the crumbs together into a ball
  3. once combined, wrap ball in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 20 - 30 minutes to settle
  4. roll pastry into a circle approximately half a centimetre thick, carefully fold into quarters then place in tart dish, unfold and loosely press into the dish
  5. blind bake at 180˚C for 15 minutes (prick fork holes in the base of your tart, line with baking paper and/or foil and fill with baking weights or rice)
  6. crumble blue cheese evenly on to the bottom of the b;ind baked tart shell
  7. in a seperate bowl combine all other ingredients, pour into the pastry case
  8. bake for 30 - 40 minutes, or until firm in the middle (if you are cooking tiny tarts check from 20 minutes on)
  9. enjoy hot or cold!!!

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