Posts Tagged ‘courgette and basil tart’

Oh dear, and suddenly the summer has passed, or today certainly feels that way. Over the summer my daughter has learnt to sit up, eat and also reject certain foods, wave her hands and, most heart-brimmingly wonderful for me, started to call ‘Mama ma ma…’ over the monitor when she wakes. One of the first vegetables she learnt to love was the courgette, plentiful in France where we spent a few lazy weeks, whizzing green flecked or bright orange purees for her delectation. As a result we often had more courgettes than one little person can eat and then this tart was a wonderful way to use them up. You need to make this with the small, firm kind of courgette, not the monsters my mother apologetically hands me after a weekend at home and calls ‘soup courgettes’. If the idea of a tart puts you off – don’t let it. This is easy. You buy the case or pastry ready made (and follow pack instructions) and just mix the veg in with the eggs and cream. I have to confess I haven’t made the raw tomato dressing, but I meant to, so I include it as I’m sure you will too.

This recipe is by Tamasin Day Lewis and her wonderfully named book ‘The Art of the Tart’.

Courgette and basil tart

Serves 6

22cm shortcrust pastry case, chilled

800g small firm courgettes

salt and black pepper

2 – 3 tbsp olive oil

2 eggs and 2 egg yolks

150 – 300 ml double cream

a handful of basil leaves (about 4 tbsp)

Tomato dressing

1 small onion

1 clove of garlic

675g tomatoes, skinned, seeded and finely chopped

6 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp each of torn basil leaves, chopped chives and flat-leaf parsley

2 tbsp lemon juice

salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Bake the pastry blind for 15 mins, then remove the beans, prick the base with a fork, and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Slice the courgettes into thinnish coins and layer them in a colander, salting each layer. Leave to drain for 20-30 mins, then rinse and dry on kitchen paper.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan, throw in the courgettes, and cook until they are slightly softened and translucent, but do not allow them to colour. Remove from the pan and drain.

Whisk together the eggs, yolks, cream and seasoning: the amount of cream will depend on the depth of your tart tin, so begin with the smaller amount and add more if it doesn’t look as if the mixture will fill the pastry case. Put the courgettes into the pastry case with the torn basil leaves, and pour over the egg and cream mixture. Bake until just set, puffed up and deliciously browned, about 30 minutes. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes before turning out, and eat while warm with the gutsy raw tomato dressing, made while the tart is in the oven.

Mince the onion and garlic together in a food processor. Put in a bowl with the remaining ingredients, stir, then cover and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes. Stir again, and spoon on to the plates alongside the tart.



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