Friday, 22 August 2014

La tarte verte...

The green tart - just visible at the bottom of the picture - is a year round staple.  I have my days on Clare Island to thank for this recipe, though no doubt it appears here somewhat adulterated.  There, I remember, it is made with their Ducks' eggs and home-made Ewe's Milk Yoghurt and Cheese.  As for the greens, I think it best made with a Chard or Beet, though do alternate with Kale, with Sorrel,  with Sea Beet or Beetroot Tops, with wild or bitter greens.  Ideally throughout all the seasons there will be some wild or cultivated green abundance asking to be used in la tarte verte.

For the pastry -

In this case I have used: 4oz Flour 2oz Butter 1 Egg 1 drop of cold water (if necessary, often not).  Rub flour and butter together to breadcrumb texture, add egg, mix in with hands and if not forming a whole add the smallest drop of water.  Refrigerate.  

Try with wholemeal flours, particularly Spelt, which gives a delicious pastry.

Wash, dry and chop a large basketful of Leaf Beet, Chard or greens of choice.  Soften an Onion in butter, add the leaves handful by handful until the whole lot has reduced enough to fit into the frying pan.

Mix 3 Eggs, 1/4 pint of Cream/Yoghurt according to preference and two handfuls of grated hard Ewe's or Goat's Cheese.  To this add grated Nutmeg, Salt and Pepper.  Then add the Chard and blend the lot with a stick blender.

Roll out the pastry and press it into a tart dish.  I use my knuckles, fold it over and patch it up as and when.

Pour in the green mixture.

Bake until risen in the middle.  Say 180C 30-40 minutes.

Eat warm or cold, and (as above) with allotment salads, new-potato chips and mayo.

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