This is a real favourite of ours and something that I like to make whenever I have some spinach in the larder. Normally I just make it with spinach, but I have an abundance of fresh peas from our garden at the moment and so . . .
Having eaten a delicious salad that contained pesto, peas and spinach . . . I thought peas would make a beautiful addition to this scrummy tart . . . especially where I only had half the amount of spinach in my fridge that I normally use.
It turned out beautifully!
It's a very easy tart to make. There is no faffing about with prebaking the crust or fitting it into a pan. You quite simply roll it out into a round, plop it onto a baking sheet, spread with pesto and the filling, bring the sides up to partially cover, sprinkle with cheese and pinenuts and you are set to go!
Fifteen to Twenty minutes later you are rewarded with a deliciously scrummy free form tart guaranteed to reform even the most ardent of spinach haters in your crew!!
Trust me on this. It's also very pretty to look at, or at least I think it is! (I'm sure you all know how much I luuuuurve my pie!!)
*English Pea, Spinach and Gruyere Tart*
A delicious supper dish that can get even the most ardent of spinach haters to eat spinach! It's a free form tart and very pretty.
1 TBS olive oil
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 pound of baby spinach leaves, washed
about 1 1/2 cups of baby peas, fresh or frozen (thawed)
300g shortcrust pastry, thawed if frozen (enough pastry to make a 12 inch round)
2 TBS fresh pesto sauce
120g gruyere cheese, grated (1 cup)
1 large free range egg, beaten
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 TBS toasted pinenuts
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.
Heat the oil in a small pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring for about 4 minutes, until softened. Add the spinach and cook just to wilt. Drain all in a colander and press out as much water as you can. Set aside.
Roll your pastry out to a 12 inch circle. Place onto a flat baking sheet. Spread the centre, leaving about 2 inches all the way around free, with pesto sauce. Reserve 1 TBS of the cheese and place the remainder into a bowl. Add the drained spinach, onion, thawed peas, beaten egg, salt and pepper. Mix together well. Place this mixture in the centre of the pastry circle on top of the pesto. Fold up the edges of the pastry over the spinach, pleating it decoratively. You will only want to fold it up about 2 inches all the way around, leaving the centre open. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and pine nuts.
Bake in the heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Cut into 4 wedges to serve.
PS - a nice tossed salad goes very well with this scrummy repast!