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Roasted Butternut Tart Served With Salad

Its cold, rain clouds are mustering over the sea, pregnant with anticipation of what’s to come. The  mixture of slate coloured hues across the expanse of sea make me feel hungry,  I need something bright and unctuous to feed my guests. In the larder I have a good stock of butternut and in the fridge some peppery greens, perfect ingredients for a delicious flaky autumnal tart.

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INGREDIENTS

Serves 6 – 8

· 1 quantity short crust pastry or pre-prepared puff pastry (recipe below)

· 5oo g roasted butternut chunks

· 20 fresh sage leaves

· 50 ml olive oil

· Salt and freshly ground pepper

· 100 g pecorino or mature cheddar

· 3 eggs

· 200 ml fresh cream

· Watercress or Rocket leaves

· Balsamic vinegar dressing

PREPARATION

Make the short crust pastry and refrigerate

Preheat the oven to 230C.

Peel and deseed the butternut and cut into chunks. Place into a roasting pan, scatter over 10 of the sage leaves torn into pieces, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes, until nicely coloured and cooked through.

Reduce the oven temperature to 180C

Roll out the pastry and line a 23cm loose bottom baking tin. Blind bake at 180C, for 10-15 minutes.

Sprinkle the grated cheese over the base of the bottom of the pastry, top with the roasted butternut chunks. Scatter over the remainder of sage leaves.

Beat the egg and cream together, season with salt and pepper and pour over the tart filling. Bake at 180C for about 35 minutes. The tart should feel firm in the middle when gently touched.

Serve with a side salad of either watercress or rocket leaves dressed with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Best served at room temperature

Short Crust Pastry

INGREDIENTS

· 225g plain flour

· 110g butter, cut into cubes

· 1 whole egg

· 1 pinch of salt

· 3 tbsp. of iced water

PREPARATION

Place the flour and butter (sprinkled around the flour) in a food processor.
Place the lid on top and briefly blitz the mixture using the pulse button. Be careful not to over mix it.
Add the egg, salt and iced water. Briefly pulse the mixture again, the moment it starts to become crumbly, stop.
Gather it into your hands and gently pat it together. Do not knead it. Wrap it in cling film and put into the fridge.

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