This is the place to find pie, quiche and savoury tart recipes. I love pastry-based recipes. They are so comforting and look much more difficult than they are! They can also be made in advance and eaten at room-temperature or warmed up. Easily transportable,they are perfect for picnics, lunch-boxes and buffets.
I tend to make my own pastry. However, all my recipes can be made with ready-made pastry if you don’t want to make your own.
The chilli, lime and coriander add zest to the more delicate taste of the seafood in this summer tart. It is great for a light lunch or supper or as part of a cold buffet.
For the pastry: 275 g plain flour 125 g fat (I use a mix of half butter and half Trex as I think this makes the lightest pastry)
A little water
For the filling: 5 spring onions
Half a red chilli 1 tbs oil 100 g crab meat 150 g raw prawns 3 eggs 200 ml double cream
Bunch of coriander
Zest of half a lime
Set oven to 200 degrees C/gas mark 6.Make the pastry. Put the flour in a bowl. Add the fat and combine – either by “rubbing in” by hand or processing – until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little cold water (2-3 tbsp) and shape the mixture into a dough.
Roll out your pastry and use it to line your quiche or flan dish. Bake for 5 minutes in the oven to allow the pastry to “set”. This will stop the filling making it soggy! Remove the pastry case from the oven and allow to cool a little.
Chop the spring onions and chilli and add to the frying pan with a little oil. Cook for 5 minutes until softened.
Put the spring onion and chilli mixture into the pastry case along with the crab meat and raw prawns.
Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the cream, and beat until combined. Chop the coriander and add to the mixture along with the grated lime zest. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the egg and cream mixture into the pastry case.
Place your quiche or flan dish in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
The tart can be eaten hot, room temperature or cold.
Asparagus and Herb Cheese Tart is a really quick and simple supper or lunch dish and can be eaten hot or cold. It uses ready-made puff pastry with a topping of lemon and herb flavoured cheese and fresh asparagus. You can make this recipe in around half an hour so it is perfect when you want to get something hot and tasty on the table in hurry.
There is no shame in using ready-made puff pastry – it makes things so much easier – but if you can find a brand that says it is made with butter it will taste so much better!
I combine plain cream cheese with garlic, lemon and herbs in this recipe as I like to choose my own flavourings. However, there are lots of ready-made garlic and herb cream cheese varieties. If you want to make this recipe even easier, you can use one of them rather than making your own.
In this recipe, I have used fennel, thyme, chives and parsley as I had to hand in my garden and which I think go well together and with the asparagus. However, you can use any herbs that you like. Others that would go well would be lemon balm, lemon thyme, dill and tarragon.
The one thing I would recommend keeping in, is the lemon zest. Asparagus has an affinity with lemon and with dairy products – a traditional way of serving it is with buttery, lemony Hollandaise sauce – which highlights its fresh, grassy flavour.
If you like this Asparagus Tart recipe, you might also like my Asparagus Quiche. This is a different kind of recipe that is made with shortcrust pastry and contains a savoury custard filling studded with pieces of asparagus and fresh herbs. You might also like my Asparagus and Pea Soup which is flavoured with chervil and is a fantastic light summer soup.
Savoury tarts and quiches are a fantastic, cook-ahead simple supper or lunch. They are easy to make and are great either hot or at room temperature. They can also be easily divided into portions if you are feeding a large number of people. Easily transportable, they also make a good addition to lunch-boxes or basis for a picnic. Some of my favourites are listed below.
Asparagus Quiche is a simple quiche-style savoury tart that highlights the taste of fresh asparagus.
I also have two very different carrot-based tarts. Carrot and Coriander Tart combines these two classic flavours in a simple quiche-style savoury tart. Carrot Tart uses ready-made puff pastry and combines large pieces of carrot with orange and soft cheese.
This Asparagus and Herb Cheese Tart combines crisp buttery pastry with creamy cheese and fresh asparagus. It is very quick and easy to make for a light lunch or supper.
375 g (14 oz) pack of puff pastry (the brands made with butter are best!)
200 g (7 oz) cream cheese
2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
Grated zest of half a lemon
A bunch of mixed herbs to taste – I used fennel, thyme, chives and parsley – (finely chopped)
Salt and pepper
7 or 8 stems of asparagus
Set your oven to 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.
Roll your puff pastry out into a rectangle to fit your baking tray. Place it on the tray.
Place the cream cheese in your mixing bowl and add the crushed garlic cloves, lemon zest and chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread the cheese mixture onto your pastry rectangle leaving about 2 cm clear around the edges.
Remove the thyme leaves from the woody stems (keep the stems) and put them in a small bowl. Add the grated zest of your lemon along with the crushed garlic. Put your softened butter into the bowl and mash to combine with the other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the ends of the asparagus stems as these can be woody and difficult to eat. The best way of doing this is to simply bend the stem and it will snap at the right point.
Place the asparagus on top of the cheese mixture on your pastry rectangle. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Place the baking tray into the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp, golden and puffed up and the asparagus is soft.
Filo Triangles with two fillings – “Feta Cheese and Mixed Herb” and “Roasted Butternut Squash, Chilli and Pinenut”
These filo triangles are really easy to make and can be served hot or cold. I generally make a batch of 14 filo Triangles – half with each filling as they complement each other. The “Feta Cheese and Mixed Herb” filling is creamy, salty and allows the flavour of your chosen herbs to sing out. The “Roasted Butternut Squash, Chilli and Pinenut” filling is rich and sweet with a buzz of heat with texture provided by the pinenuts.
Both versions make a great lunch or supper, and are really good in lunch boxes and on picnics. They are also fancy enough to be served for dinner parties or more formal occasions. If I am trying to impress, I serve them with a Green Salad with Edible Flowers. This is easy (and beautiful!). Just take salad leaves such as lambs lettuce, maybe add additional bits such as cucumber or avocado – I tend to stick to green things so flowers are obvious – and dress with vinaigrette. Scatter edible flowers, such as violas or primroses, on top.
These crispy filo triangles, filled with tasty vegetarian fillings, make a great lunch or supper.
Ingredients: Filo Triangles
1 packet of filo pastry (270 g or 7 sheets)
100 g butter (melted)
Filling: Roasted Butternut Squash, Chilli and Pinenut
Half a butternut squash
1 red onion
Salt and pepper
75 g feta cheese
Half a fresh red chilli (finely chopped)
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
50 g pinenuts (roasted)
Filling: Feta Cheese and Mixed Herb
75 g feta cheese
75 g cream cheese
A large bunch of mixed, fresh herbs to taste (parsley, basil, chives, fennel fronds)
I spring onion
Black pepper to taste
Method – Feta Cheese and Mixed Herb filling
Crumble the feta into a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and mix thoroughly.
Finely chop the mixed herbs and spring onion and add to the cheese mixture. Season with black pepper (no need for salt as feta is very salty).
Method – Roasted Butternut Squash, Chilli and Pinenut filling
Set your oven to 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.
Peel your butternut squash and chop into small chunks (around 2 cm). (You will only need half of the squash for the filling but I generally roast it all and serve the other half of the chunks as an accompaniment.) Cut the red onion into quarters leaving the skin on. Put the squash chunks and onion pieces on a baking tray, sprinkle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables in the oven for 30 minutes until soft and slightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Roughly mash the butternut squash. Remove the skin from the onion and roughly chop and combine with the butternut squash in a mixing bowl. Crumble the feta cheese into the bowl with the vegetables. Add the finely chopped red chilli, the crushed garlic and the roasted pinenuts.
Method – Assembling the Filo Triangles
Cut each filo sheet in half lengthways and brush all over with melted butter. Put a spoonful of the filling at one end of the filo strip, and fold into triangles so that it is encased in several layers of filo.
Put the filled filo triangles on a baking sheet and brush the top of each with melted butter.
When you have made all your filo triangles, return the baking tray to the oven and cook at 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes.
Remove the filo triangles from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. They can be eaten hot, warm or at room temperature.
Keywords: filo pastry triangles, butternut squash, feta, chilli