for many people weekends seem to be a time to think about what exciting, exotic and time-consuming dishes they can create in the extra hours that they have. i do this too, especially if we have friends coming over as i always see guests as an opportunity to try new things.
however, things have been a little different recently – my weekend cooking currently seems to focus around the various vegetables which i have sitting in my kitchen and which need to be used up before they are past their best and beyond redemption.
later in the week i’ll fill you in on how i managed to use up the final half of a savoy cabbage which was only a few days away from the bin (exciting stuff eh?), but first a green tart which created a magnificent home for wilting spinach, yellowing leeks and softening courgettes. sorry if that sounds horrid, my intention is to reassure you that this recipe is fine for vegetables which are a little past their best!
quantities given are for what i needed to use up, feel free to adapt the idea to take into account your own fridgebottom vegetables.
green tart (serves 4)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
3 courgettes, cut into 1cm discs
juice of half a lemon
3 leeks, cleaned and cut into 1cm discs
a couple of handfuls spinach, wilted, drained and roughly chopped
200g pack of feta, crumbled into small pieces
250g puff pastry (take out the fridge as you start preparing stuff so it can warm slightly)
preheat the oven to 220c.
heat the olive oil, add the garlic and chilli and fry until you can smell the garlic. add the courgettes, cover and fry over a low heat until the courgette is very soft – c 10-15 minutes. add the lemon juice and cook over a high heat until all the liquid evaporates then place the courgettes in a large mixing bowl.
add the butter and leeks to the pan and sauté over a low heat until the leeks are soft – do not let them brown or they will taste bitter. add the leeks to the courgettes, add the spinach, mix together and season to taste.
roll the pastry out and place on a baking tray. lightly score a frame around the edge of the pastry to create a crust and then fill the centre space of the pastry with your mixed green vegetables. sprinkle with the feta and bake for 30 minutes until the pasty is golden and crunchy. serve hot or at room temperature.