On these balmy Summer evenings, one of my favourite evening meals is quiche, salad and baby new potatoes. Fortunately I was recently sent the new cookbook by Yeo Valley; The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook. With over 100 recipes inspired by the traditions of the British farmhouse kitchen, this beautiful book brings together fresh ingredients and seasonal flavours.
I've decided to have a go at the recipe on page 92, from 'The Veg Garden' section:
Roasted Squash, Red Onion, Spinach & Cheese Tart
- For the filling:
- 2 small red onions
- 375g butternut squash, cut into 2.5cm chunks
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 300g chard or spinach leaves, large stalks removed and coarsely shredded
- 225g well-flavoured cheese, crumbled or coarsely grated (I used 100g of dolcelatte)
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 300ml double cream
- salt and black pepper
- For the pastry:
- 150g plain flour
- 75g stoneground wholemeal flour
- 65g chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- 65g chilled lard, cut into small pieces (I am vegetarian so used 130g of butter instead of the lard)
- Make the pastry first by mixing the flours in a food processor with the fats and ½ teaspoon of salt, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of cold water and mix briefly until the mixtures binds together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll out thinly and use to line a lightly greased 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin 4cm deep. Prick the base with a fork and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Peel the onions (the original recipe calls for the root end to remain intact, I rebelled and sliced it off), then slice each one from top to bottom to make thin wedges. Put the squash chunks and onions in a roasting tin and drizzle the olive oil over the top (I mixed some olive oil with balsamic vinegar). Season with salt and pepper and toss together. Roast for 20-30 minutes.
- Line the base of the pastry case with a circle of greaseproof paper and cover with baking beads. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges are biscuit coloured. Remove the paper and beans (once cooled!) and return to the oven for 5-7 minutes until the base is crisp and golden.
- Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over a medium-high heat, add the chard or spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until wilted (I cheated and put mine in the microwave with a knob of butter for 90 seconds). Tip into a colander and gently press out the excess liquid. Season lightly.
- Remove the pastry case from the oven and lower the temperature to 190°C. Arrange the squash, onion, cheese and spinach over the bottom of the pasty case. Beat the eggs and cream together with seasoning. (This is where I changed the recipe slightly; I added the spinach – as I used frozen – to the egg mix which had been blitzed with the dolcelatte.)
- Pour over the filling and bake for 30-35 minutes until set and richly golden on top. Serve warm and with buttered new potatoes and mixed leaf salad.
What I particularly like about this book is the huge amount of vegetarian recipes in it, either as a main course or as a light meal. I'll be experimenting with a lot of these easy recipes over the Summer, so expect more posts, particularly the lemon curd & raisin bread & butter pudding, Somerset scrumpy & apple cake, and the spiced pear bakewell! There may be some other savoury dishes as well.
Yeo Valley’s Great British Farmhouse Cookbook is available from all good book shops with a RRP of £19.99. You can buy it here on Amazon for £10.00
Sarah Mayor is the daughter of Roger and Mary Mead, who started Yeo Valley at Holt Farm in 1961 with thirty cows and the odd sheep. Mary opened a tea room and the clotted cream they made for it meant there was lots of skimmed milk left over. So they tried making yogurt… and people seemed to like it. They still do. The Mead family is still living and working at Holt Farm today.
I was sent a copy of this book for the purpose of this review and post. I was also given permission to reproduce the recipe on my blog. My opinion is honest and unbiased.