Fennel and Dill Tart

Tarts are always so pretty and this fennel tart does not disappoint, especially when served with zesty multicoloured carrot ribbons that pop with colour and zing with taste.

Ingredients: half a bulb of fennel, 2 shallots, 10g dill, 2 multi-coloured carrots (purple, orange, white or yellow), handful of rocket.

From the larder: 1 sheet of short crust pastry (bought or make your own), 2 eggs, juice of ½ lemon or balsamic vinegar, oil and butter (optional: 50g goat’s cheese and 50ml cream).

Instructions:

  • If you are making your own pastry, See recipe below.
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Roll out pastry and lay in a shallow 9-inch pie dish or on a baking tray folding over to make your own edges. Cover with foil or baking beads and bake blind for 15 minutes. (A note on baking. The idea with blind baking is to crisp up the pastry so that it does not become soggy when you add the filling. The foil and baking beans, or rice, which also works well, are used to add weight so the pastry doesn’t puff up with hot air.)blind baking with rice 600px.jpg
  • Meanwhile, chop shallots and slice fennel into thin strips; sauté in a knob of butter until slightly soft and translucent. Leave the wispy fronds of the fennel out and set aside.
  • In a bowl, crack the egg and beat together with fennel fronds, chopped dill, pinch of salt and pepper. If using goat’s cheese, cut into chunks and mix into the egg mixture along with cream. Remove the pastry from the oven and place fennel, shallots and egg mixture into the pie case. Pop back in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden and set.
  • While the tart is baking, peel carrots and then use the peeler to make carrot ribbons. Squeeze lemon juice over and drizzle with olive oil. Mix in rocket. Serve slices of the tart with carrot ribbons and enjoy!

Pastry:

Ingredients: 225 plain flour, 110g butter, water.

Instructions: Cut butter into cubes and rub into flour with your fingertips until the mixture feels like breadcrumbs.
Using a fork, stir in just enough cold water (2-3tbsp) to bring the pastry together, gather into a ball, cling film and stick in the fridge for 15 mins. (Be conservative on the water, drier pastry will give a crispier crust).

pastry in flan dish 600px.jpg

Beetroot and Sorrel Risotto with Fennel and Celery Salad

Ingredients: 1 clove of garlic, 3 shallots, 150g beetroot(1 small), 1 small bunch of sorrel, half a bulb of fennel and 1 stick of celery(allergen).

Larder: 175g Arborio (risotto) rice, 600ml stock, 2 knobs of butter, salt and pepper, 50g Parmesan, juice of half a lemon.

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Peel and chop the beetroot into 1cm chunks, drizzle with oil and roast for 20-25 minutes.
  • Mince a clove of garlic and finely chop the shallots. Sauté on a low heat in a knob of butter until soft.
  • Add the Arborio rice and fry for 3-4 minutes, until slightly translucent. Prepare the stock. Add a ladle at a time to the rice, stirring regularly. Allow the stock to absorb before adding the next ladle of stock. Keep adding until you have used all the stock and the risotto is al denté. This should take about 20 minutes.
  • While the risotto is cooking, make a fennel and celery salad. Remove any woody stalk and the fronds from the fennel, chop the fronds and thinly slice or shave the fennel, using a knife, or mandolin if you have one. Slice the celery into matchstick thin batons and place with fennel on a small plate. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper and toss well.
  • When risotto is ready, chop the sorrel and stir in along with the roasted beetroot. Add a pinch of pepper, a knob of butter and 50g grated Parmesan. Place a lid on the pan, remove from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Serve the risotto with the fennel and celery salad and enjoy the colours!