a spring tart with basil oil


bea at la tartine gourmande regularly creates beautiful looking and delicious sounding tarts, tartines and everything tart-like that you can imagine. when the mood strikes me to do something similar i often feel that i am not up to the challenge in comparison but when i get to it the result is usually something delicious and i console myself that photography isn’t the strength of this blog (yet... one day i aspire to creating beautiful images as well as yummy food).

this tart was the result of a lazy weekend’s requirements for something that was quick to pull together and only needed things already in the fridge/ pick-upable from the local italian deli.

it worked really well, particularly with the fennel salad and chilled champagne that we indulged ourselves with to accompany it.

the fennel would have been as good on the tart if you wanted a vegetarian version (thinly slice and blanch it with the asparagus).

spring tart with basil oil (serves 4)

500g puff pastry

2 tablespoons sundried tomato paste

200g ricotta

25g parmesan, or similar hard cheese

250g asparagus, trimmed and blanched for 1 minute

6 slices parma ham

2 courgettes, thinly sliced into ribbons

olive oil

handful of basil leaves

preheat the oven to 200c.

roll the pastry out to fit into a swiss-roll tin. put it into the tin and score a “frame” around the edge so a crust can rise and form a border to the tart.

spread the sundried tomato paste over the pastry. mix the ricotta and parmesan and sprinkle the crumbly mix over the tomato paste. put the toppings on in three lines – asparagus spears along one third, parma ham along one third and courgette ribbons along the final third. drizzle the tart with olive oil and bake for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is golden.

blitz the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and basil to make a basil oil. drizzle this over the courgettes before serving.