jerusalem artichoke and hazelnut tart

i haven’t managed to get hold of many jersualem artichokes this year but when i finally did, i wanted to try something different (although my usual first choice of jerusalem artichoke risotto is never not going to be delicious). thankfully i remembered a recipe for a jerusalem artichoke, hazelnut and goat's cheese tart, not least because hazelnuts are my favourite nuts and i rarely get to use them in savoury dishes.

the tart is quick and easy to pull together. my top tip would be to make sure that the jerusalem artichokes are properly cooked through when you boil them, as they don’t cook much more in the oven (a few of my thicker slices were a bit al dente).

i used a different cheese to that in the recipe – smoked ricotta, which was new to me. this is a semi-hard cheese and as you’ll see in the picture, the grated pieces didn’t melt much. they added a lovely smokiness to the tart though and i’d happily use it again for this dish, although i think i’d also like to try mixing it with something a bit more melty to get the extra texture contrast. 

rosie sykes's jerusalem artichoke, hazelnut and goat's cheese tart (serves 4)

3 tablespoons olive oil

60g butter

4 sprigs of thyme

zest and juice of half a lemon

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

80g whole hazelnuts

3 leeks, trimmed and finely sliced

400g jerusalem artichokes, sliced into pound coin-thick circles

250g filo pastry

60g soft goat's cheese

add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and all the butter to a small pan over a low heat. add half the thyme, and all the lemon zest and garlic. cover and warm gently. if any butter solids come to the top, skim them off. set aside until needed.

preheat the oven to 200c/400f/gas mark 6. toast the hazelnuts in the warming oven for a few minutes until light golden. while warm, wrap in a tea towel and rub them to remove the skins. once cool, finely chop the nuts.

add the remaining oil to a pan over a medium heat. add the leeks and thyme leaves stripped from the remaining stalks, cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes until soft. turn the heat up, add the lemon juice and stir. let the leeks become pretty dry, season to taste, take off the heat and set aside.

meanwhile, boil the artichokes in salted water for around 3 minutes until soft. strain and run under cold water.

brush a baking sheet with the infused oil mixture. lay out one or two sheets of filo to create a 30cm square. butter the pastry and scatter with a quarter of the hazelnuts, cover with another layer of filo and press down. repeat to create three more layers on top of the first.

cover the pastry base with soft leeks, then arrange the artichokes on top in overlapping rows. season and brush with infused oil, crumble the goat's cheese on top and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is crisp and the cheese has melted nicely. cut the tart into quarters. serve with some bitter leaves dressed with orange.