Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The Sun Shining

Torta Salata- Sole di Primavera
Springtime Sunshine Tart- Puff-Pastry Wheel with Green Asparagus, Carrot, Feta Cheese & Thyme


There is something about preparing dishes that are incredibly simple to make yet amazingly impressive-looking... that just makes them SO MUCH FUN!

For example, this beautiful ring of simple goodness took around 20 minutes to prepare and a further 40 or so to bake in the oven, whilst I sipped on a drink and enjoyed a nice rest from the exertion- lol! That's my idea of cooking! Haha!

So gorgeous and yet so laugh-out-loud easy to make- this is one dish you need to make in some form or other very soon... just look at the pics and I'm sure you will agree!


This was a rather small-sized tart- just 10" or so- and as you can see, the ingredients were relatively few: just a handful of asparagus, 2 small carrots, 1 Spring onion and a half block of feta cheese, along with the puff pastry of course and a little salt, pepper, nutmeg, thyme and olive oil. I added a few cherry tomatoes into the equation, just to serve on the side as a sweet and fruity contrast- and flavored with some fresh and tender thyme, salt, pepper, sugar, olive oil and thyme, they were the perfect, light accompaniment.


And does that look good- or does that look good? Ok, I will agree- you are right! It really does!


Preparation is simple- trim the tough ends from the asparagus and then cut them in half lengthways- and do the same with the Spring onion. As for the carrots, peel them and then continue taking off shavings with the peeler, then stack the slices up and cut them into thin strips... done!


Put the shredded vegetables into a frying pan, sprinkle with salt and add just enough boiling water to cover the base. Pop on the lid, turn up the heat and cook for 2 minutes until the water has evaporated away and the vegetables are just softened by the steam, but still have their "bite". And do remember not to stir!! You will never get those things untangled if you do!

Add a drizzle of olive oil and set to one side to cool.


Next, unless of course you have bought a circle of puff-pastry, using a plate as a stencil, cut to size and then cut as shown in the photo. Simply cut a cross into the center of the circle making 2 cuts at 90° and then make 2 diagonal cuts, each time keeping the same distance from the outer edge. The cuts should leave plenty of room around the outside- which will of course form the base of our tart.


Next, crumble the feta cheese up and spread it all around the outer surface evenly. 


And then of course, add the vegetables, just a little at a time so that you can get them nicely and evenly spread. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and add a very light drizzle of olive oil and you're done.


And now the fun begins- start folding the pastry back from the inside-out... see how easy it is to make something that looks so pretty?


I hope you had the sense to turn on the oven despite the fact that I have just forgotten to remind you- duh! because now in it goes, at 180°C, for 40-45 minutes on the middle shelf, until the pastry is cooked through, puffed up and golden brown!


Like I said- it looks so pretty with such little effort- you have just GOT TO love it!


I served mine up with a simple side of cherry tomatoes, sprinkled with salt, pepper, sugar and thyme and drizzled lightly with olive oil... simple- pretty and tasty of course at the same time!


So neither puff pastry- nor such humble vegetables, need be either boring, or bland if you use your imagination a little and make the most of them... and it is all such fun that it really makes it so worthwhile!

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