My hubby absolutely adores roast dinners, however we don’t eat meat so sometimes coming up with a veggie main to go with all those lovely roast potatoes and vegetables is a challenge. For boxing day tea, I invented this epic tart, filled with homemade pesto, loads of cheese, mushrooms onions and a bit more cheese. It really is comfort food, a lovely english roast dinner, no animals necessary. It does require a bit of time and effort, but it is worth it, promise!
You will need… 4oz butter/margerine, 6oz plain flour, 50g walnuts, 60g olives, a big handful fresh basil, pepper, salt, olive oil, 150g mushrooms, 1 small onion, 75g mozarella cheese, 1 slice of bread, 25g cheddar cheese, pestle and mortar, 20cm flan dish, mixing bowl, rolling pin.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. First of all make the pastry. For this you need to put your flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Cut your butter into little chunks and mix these into the flour with a knife, when all the butter is covered in flour add 3 tablespoons of warm water and stir in. Form the pastry into a ball (f you need to add more water to bind it together, add it by the teaspoon), cover in cling film and pop in the fridge.
I wanted to add an extra texture to my tart so I created a walnut pesto, if you don’t have a pestle and mortar you could always use ready made green pesto, but the homemade version is much nicer! For this, put your walnuts into the pestle and mortar and grind down into tiny pieces, add your handful of basil and squish this as well. Then add your olives, mixed herbs, salt and pepper and a tablespoon of olive oil and grind this in a circular motion until it looks like a thick paste.
Dice the onion and fry in a tablespoon of butter, slice your mushrooms and add these to the frying pan once the onions are soft.
Roll out your pastry on a floured surface until it will cover the flan dish and is about 5mm thick. Put your pastry over the flan dish and press down carefully. Spread your pesto over the bottom of the pastry, then layer half the mushrooms on top of this.
Slice your mozarella and form a layer of this on top of the mushrooms.
Add another layer of mushrooms and onion. Blitz the bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor or just tear it by hand and cover the dish with these. Finally grate your cheddar and sprinkle over the top.
Serve with crispy roast potatoes, vegetables and cauliflower cheese (if you fancy more cheese!) or for a lighter meal serve with a lovely rocket salad. A glass of gorgeous red wine is also a must, our favourite is Marques de Carano Reserva 2009. This is one of my favourite dishes and is a really great go to recipe if you have vegetarian guests or you want to cook something a bit special.
Enjoy, Love Mrs Gardom