Monday, 25 June 2012

The Square-Root of a Round Pie

Torta Salata con Finnochio, Ravanello, Formaggio Blu & Miele
Fennel, Radish, Honey & Blue Cheese Tart

Indeed, this evenings creation was made by crossing one root vegetable with another!  I wanted to have a "Meatless Monday" today and had been toying with the idea of making a fennel tart... but I was not sure which other flavor to combine it with... especially as I wasn't able to use bacon (darn!).

So I decided to try my luck with radish- crispy, peppery and refreshing- I figured it would be a good combination with the sweet, anise-flavor of the fennel and the tangy, savory flavor of the Bavaria Blue cheese... and amazingly enough I was right!

I started out by cutting the fennel in half and then taking off semi-circular slices, but making sure that the center of the fennel bulb was still intact, so that the slices wouldn't fall apart. I boiled the slices in just enough water to cover them and seasoned the water with both a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of sugar. I boiled the fennel slices for 4-5 minutes, then drained them and set them to one side to cool.

Next, I topped and tailed the radishes and then cut them into slices. I also cooked these slightly before beginning to assemble the pie- just for 1-2 minutes in boiling water.

Next step... pastry! Obviously this is a store-bought puff pastry- life is too short to be fussing over making dough! I cut the dough into a circular base shape, then cut thin strips, which I folded into a decorative border. I then arranged the fennel slices on top, which I sprinkled with a little white pepper and a hint more salt. I added the radish slices and a few finely chopped Spring onion greens and popped them into the oven, which I had pre- heated, for 10-15 minutes at 350°F, until the edges had puffed-up nicely and begun to brown gently.

I took the tart out of the oven, crumbled a little blue cheese over it and drizzled it all over with honey... then popped it back under the broiler to become lovely and golden brown... delicious! I added some fennel greens as a garnish and then cut into it and enjoyed it while it was hot... although it would have tasted wonderful as a cold dish too! Only thing was... that I was too impatient!

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