Herb Tartlets

Herb Tartlets

These easy Herb Tartlets are all about the taste of the herbs.   Often herbs are used to enhance the flavours of other foods but here they are the stars of the show, rather than a supporting act.  The choice of herbs to include is up to you, depending on what you have to hand and which flavours you prefer, but they need to be soft herbs and you need to think about the balance of flavours as some stronger herbs, such as rosemary, will dominate the others.   

I generally include chives as I love their mild oniony flavour and then add other soft, milder herbs that are growing in my herb garden such as parsley, tarragon, chervil or sorrel.   You can choose to just use one herb – tarragon or sorrel are good on their own as they both have very distinctive flavours – or use several.   If using more than one variety, I would stick to three or four, otherwise the flavours will not be distinct.

Combined with a mixed green salad and maybe a potato salad, these tartlets make a fantastic light summer lunch or supper.   They are also good as part of a buffet at a summer party or as a snack at a drinks party.

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Other savoury tarts and quiches

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.

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Recipe for Herb Tartlets

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Mixed herb tart

Herb Tartlets

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tartlets 1x
  • Category: Tart
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

These Herb Tartlets allow the flavour of fresh herbs to be the star of the show rather than a supporting act.


Scale

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 275 g (10 oz) plain flour
  • 125 g fat (4 oz) I use a mix of half butter and half Trex as I think this makes the lightest pastry)
  • Salt
  • A little water

For the filling:

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 ml (5 fluid oz) double cream
  • 50 g (2 oz) mixed fresh herbs – such as parsley, chives, chervil, tarragon or sorrel
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Method:  for the pastry

  1. 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.
  2. Roll out your pastry and use a round pastry cutter to cut circles.  Put a circle in each indentation in your tartlet tin.

Method:  for the filling

  1. Break the eggs into a bowl, add the cream and beat until mixed.
  2. Add the crushed clove of garlic.
  3. Chop the fresh herbs finely and add them to the cream and egg mixture.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon the filling into each pastry circle in your tartlet tin.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  6. When slightly cooled, remove from the tartlet tin, and place on a cooling rack.
  7. The tartlets can be eaten hot, warm or at room temperature.

Keywords: herb tartlets, fresh herbs

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Sorrel and Chive Herb Butter

Sorrel, Chives and Garlic

Sorrel and Chive Herb Butter – capture the flavour of zesty spring herbs

Sorrel and Chive Herb Butter is a fantastic way to capture the fresh taste of spring herbs.  Sorrel is a leafy plant, with leaves that look a bit like spinach leaves, and has a distinctive lemony taste.  It provides a burst of fresh sharp flavour which is so welcome in early spring. It can be hard to find in supermarkets but it is very easy to grow if you have a garden or outside space for a pot.   Sorrel was one of the first things that I planted when I moved into my current house – it sits in an unprepossessing spot near the garden fence, needs no attention whatsoever and each year produces lots of leaves from early spring onwards.

Clearly, you can use any herbs that you like to make a Herb Butter.   Others that lend themselves particularly well to this kind of treatment are parsley, tarragon (especially good with chicken) and sage (good with pasta).   You can play with different flavour combinations to suit your taste.  However, I think it is best not to include too many herbs – you need to allow individual flavours to be sing out rather than get lost in a crowd.  Also, it is best to stick to soft herbs (rather than woody herbs).   Other flavourings that go well in a herb butter include garlic (of course!), chilli, citrus (grated zest of lemon, orange or lime) and spices (in particular nutmeg).

Mash the herbs with the butter

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Sorrel and Chive Herb Butter

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 100 g 1x
  • Category: Butter
  • Cuisine: English

Description

A tasty Sorrel and Chive Herb Butter which can be used to enhance the flavour of pasta and cooked fish and meat.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 sorrel leaves
  • Around 10 chive stems
  • 100 g salted butter (ideally, room temperature)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Finely chop the sorrel and chives.   Either chop the garlic clove finely or squeeze through a garlic press
  2. Mash up the butter and incorporate the chopped herbs, garlic and black pepper.   This is much easier to do if you have left the butter out of the fridge for half an hour or so.
  3. Shape the herby butter as you wish.  I generally roll it into a sausage shape.  Then, when you want to use the butter, you can easily cut it into discs.  Sometimes, I get fancy and use cookie cutters to shape it into hearts or other shapes.
  4. Put the Sorrel and Chive Herb Butter into the fridge, wrapped in cling-film, until you wish to use it.   It will keep in the fridge for around two weeks and can also be frozen if you wish to keep it for longer as it will last for around three months in the freezer.

Notes

There are so many uses for Sorrel and Chive Herb Butter – it adds zest and flavour to a great many dishes – but some of my favourites are as follows:

  • Add on top of grilled meat or fish just prior to serving.  It will melt and release all its butter flavour.  I think Sorrel and Chive Herb Butter is particularly good with grilled chicken and with grilled salmon or lemon sole.
  • Stir into cooked pasta to make a quick and tasty supper – see my recipe for Prawn Pasta with Sorrel and Chive Herb Butter.  Or you could add some steamed vegetables – courgettes or peas are a good choice – or other sea-food such as scallops.
  • Spread on some crusty bread and just eat it as it is or add some tangy cheese.

Keywords: sorrel butter, chive butter

Sorrel and Chive Herb Butter hearts

Other things you can do with Sorrel

In addition to Herb Butter, there are lots of other quick and easy ways in which you can use sorrel.  Some of my favourites are as follows.

  • Use young leaves in a mixed green salad, along with lettuce, spinach or other greens.
  • Heat some double cream and add chopped up sorrel leaves to make an instant sauce for meat or fish.
  • Saute chopped up sorrel leaves in butter for a few minutes and then use as the filling for an omelette.   Or you can add the leaves to the egg mixture when making an omelette and fill it with something rich and creamy such as grated cheddar cheese.
  • Add chopped up sorrel leaves to soup – it goes very well with home-made leek and potato soup or chicken soup – to give instant zest.

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