Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tart with a heart

I had to cook something this week to take to a work morning tea, and given my general aversion to sweet things I decided to bake something savoury. I pretty much used what I had on hand and just grabbed some pre rolled shortcrust pastry from the store on the way home to create a savoury, "sort of middle eastern" style tart. I had some pistachio and pine nuts that were due to be used too, so I incorporated them to make a lovely nutty crust. The tart proved to be popular with my colleagues, so it all worked well. This dish would be a great picnic dish and can be made a day ahead. It is rustic and boldly flavoured - not a delicate little quiche but something vivid and gutsy.

This tart uses a spice that some of you may not be overly familiar with - Sumac is a spice used extensively in middle eastern cuisines. It comes in the form of vivid red/burgandy berries that are ground and the outer skin removed and has a unique, sweet, lemony, tangy flavour. I love the fresh zingy taste it brings to grilled meat, dressings and pies. Good quality ground sumac should be deep red to burgandy in colour. It is now reasonably easy to source - I think even some of the bigger supermarkets are stocking it these days, but of course any middle eastern deli will have it for sure. If you have never tried it, give it a go - it is a great addition to your spice cupboard.

And now, to the dish itself.......

Pumpkin, pinenut and pistachio tart with sumac

You will need: 1 large sheet pre rolled shortcrust pastry, 5 eggs, 2 tablespoons milk, 2 cups diced cooked pumpkin, 2 large onions, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, 1 tabspoon pine nuts, 1 tablespoon pistachio nuts, 200g crumbled fetta cheese, 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, 1 heaped teaspoon sumac, 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes, splash of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Method: Line a 30cm quiche dish with baking paper. Press in the rolled pastry into the dish, trim any rough edges and then lay another sheet of baking paper over the top. Tip in a pile of baking weights (you can get these from cookware stores) or improvise and use dry rice or beans to weigh the paper down. Bake blind for 15 minutes, until the base is cooked through. You want it to be firm so that you don't end up with a soggy base, once the filling is in. Once the base is cooked, remove the baking paper and set the tart aside.

While the base is cooking, Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan. Add the sliced onions and sautee them for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, chilli and sumac and cook for another 5 minutes. Now add the cooked pumpkin and stir it through.

Beat the eggs, milk and plenty of salt and pepper together. Set aside.

Crumble half of the fetta and cheddar over the base of the tart, then tip in the filling ingredients. Top with the remaining cheeses, pine nuts and pistachios. Pour the egg mixture into the base and then top with the fresh chives.

Bake in a moderate oven until lightly golden on top and the egg mixture is just set. This will take around 25 minutes. Allow the tart to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it. Serve warm or cold.


1 comment:

  1. Have heard of sumac, but never tried. This looks awesome! Love the addition of the nuts.