It's actually a Smoked Sausage, Sun Dried Tomato and Watercress Tart in a Parmesan Polenta Pastry (try saying that once, without tripping up, when completely sober.... now have a glass of wine... and try again... much easier, wasn't it)... which is waaaaay too heavy a title to put on a recipe. It's almost a pedigree, and I'm hardly entering it into Crufts.
Food gets a bit *samey* sometimes, in this house. I don't always have the time or the inclination to cook much more than something that goes in a pot and will sit happily with rice or pasta... but occasionally, my need to use food up and make space in my fridge for another, fresher, culinary rainbow of vegetables - gives me enough incentive to become a bit more inventive, if not adventurous.
It was watercress that needed using up this time. I had been inspired to buy it, by a recent trip to The Finnygook Inn, for dinner. They served it with steak. I liked it enough that I bought a bag. That's how most stuff gets into the fridge. I have a moment of "oooooooh... what a nice idea, I think I can make *this* a part of my everyday diet"... and I really can't. There's a LOT of watercress in one bag. Enough to go with several steak servings, not just one or two.
I didn't buy steak. I only like steak, in any form, when someone else has cooked it. This is a constant disappointment to Neil.
Neil would eat shoe leather if I put it on his plate and told him it was steak. This is most probably because when I have cooked steak, it has resembled shoe leather... I'm really inspiring you with confidence in my cooking right about now, aren't I.
Back to my Tart... it worked a million times better than I had imagined it would. It really was one of those surprising successes (I am always surprised when I have a success). I experimented with the pastry and if I only ever make one pastry again, it'll be this one. Using up the watercress in the tart was also a success...
... Now all I have to do is work out what the hell I'm going to do with a ton of Marshmallow Fluff.
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Smoked Sausage, Tomato and Watercress Tart Recipe
Serves 6 - 8
Prep time - 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooking time - 50 minutes
Total time - 2 hours
You will need
A 28cm flan case/tart tin (preferably with a removable bottom)
200g plain flour
50g fine polenta - plus extra for dusting
140g cold butter - cut into small pieces
50g parmesan - finely grated
1 whole egg
2 tbsps water
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
300ml double cream
Handful of watercress - picked over and longer stalks removed
100g smoked sausage - sliced
6 sundried tomatoes (in oil) - patted dry and sliced
- Place the flour, polenta, butter and a pinch of salt into a food processor and whizz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the Parmesan and egg, then pulse through the 2 tbsp cold water until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap in cling film, and chill in fridge for 30 mins.
- Dust your work surface with polenta and roll out the pastry - not to thick and not too thin - about 5mm.
- Line the tart tin with the pastry and trim the overhang, but not too far as it will shrink with cooking.
- Chill for another 30 mins.
- Heat oven to 390/200c/170c fan/gas 6.
- Place a baking sheet in the oven to warm up.
- Line the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans.
- Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15 mins.
- Remove the beans and parchment and bake for another 5 mins or until the pastry is golden.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool a little - turn the oven temperature down to 350f/180c/155 fan/gas 4.
- Arrange the watercress, sausage and tomatoes in the pastry case, scatter over the cheese.
- Whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks and cream and gently pour into the pastry case, careful not to go over the edges.
- Cook for about 30 minutes until the egg has just set.
- Serve with salad and crusty bread and a huuuuuge dollop of mayonnaise. Because I said so.
Lightly adapted from Good Food Magazine