Tuesday 7th March 2017
We’re really excited it’s finally the long-awaited PSB season. A very welcome sign of Spring and that there’s finally a little warmth in the air. We LOVE PSB at Growing Local and are fortunate enough to have a few plants growing in our educational garden, sown from seed by school children last Spring. Sadly we don’t have enough to supply the Veg Bags but enough for a delicious meal or two for ourselves and volunteers. The organic PSB in the veg bags last week was grown by John Davenport in Little Marcle, how did you enjoy it? We thought it was delicious!.
PSB is a wonderful veggie side, but if you’re wanting to be a little more adventurous with yours it’s very tasty in a tart or with pasta. Here’s my recipe for an Anchovy, Parmesan & PSP Tart. It’s pretty bold on the flavour front so feel free to omit the anchovies if you’re not partial, but the salty contrast with the PSB is a match made in foodie heaven if you ask me. Fill with as much PSB as you can fit.
I know homemade pastry is considered a bit of a faff by most people but it’s surprisingly easy to make yourself. To cut down on faff time you can make in large batches and line and ‘bake blind’ a number of tart cases all at once, freezing the excess for later and convenient quickie dinners. Then the prep of the filling and baking is genuinely a doddle.
For the Pastry: (double, treble, quadruple if you want to stock up on savoury tart cases)
130g Plain Flour (or half Wholemeal, half Plain), plus a little extra for rolling
65g Butter, straight from the fridge, cut into small blocks. Plus a little extra for greasing the case
1 large pinch coarsely ground Black Pepper
1 pinch Salt
1 Egg yolk, lightly beaten
For the Filling:
200 to 250g Purple Sprouting Broccoli (essentially as much as you can squeeze in the tart base), washed
3 medium Free Range Eggs
200ml half or full fat Creme Fraiche
2 heaped tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 large pinch Black Pepper
6 Anchovy fillets, preserved in oil or salt
Equipment: a 19 to 25cm width quiche/tart case
- Start by making your pastry. I use a food processor for speed but you can make it by hand too. If you’re using a processor place all the ingredients in the bowl, except for the egg yolk, and whiz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and whiz again. When it starts to come together in a ball it’s ready, if it doesn’t add a few drops of cold water until it does. Remove from the processor and shape together. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.
If you’re making the pastry by hand place all the ingredients, bar the egg yolk, in a mixing bowl. Rub the fat into the flour with your finger tips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and mix into the flour and fat with your hands, trying to bring it all together. Add a few drops of cold water if the dough fails to come together. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC (gas mark 5, 375ºF).
- Whilst the pastry’s resting make your filling. Slice the tougher ends of the broccoli into roughly inch long strips, leaving a generous couple of inches for the delicate purple florets. Steam over boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes until almost tender. Set aside.
- Lightly beat the eggs then beat in the creme fraiche, Parmesan and black pepper. Set aside.
- Lightly grease your chosen case with butter.
- The pastry should now be rested. Roll out on a floured surface into a round that will fit your case. Transfer to the case. Cut off any excess pastry; there should be just enough pastry to overlap the sides by a few mms (the pastry will shrink a little when cooked).
- Prick the base all over with a fork. Place a piece of greaseproof paper over and fill with baking beans to weight down the pastry. Bake for 20 minutes in the hot oven, remove the beans and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Now you’re ready for tart assembly. Place as much PSB in the tart case as it will hold. Pour over the eggy mix. Finally decoratively lay the anchovy fillets over the top. Slide in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes until firm to touch and a little golden on top.
Perfect with a leafy green salad. And buttered new potatoes when they’re available. Delish.