Sea Beet, Smoked Bacon and Potato Tart

Some may call it a Quiche; some may call it a flan… I call it a Tart. Here’s how it goes…

Ingredients

Sea BeetFor the shortcrust pastry:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g fridge cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2-3 table spoons cold water

For the filling:

  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled, roughly diced, boiled until tender, and drained
  • 150g smoked streaky bacon or smoked pancetta, cut into small diceEggs, cream and yoghurt
  • About 4 or 5 big handfuls of Sea Beet, thoroughly washed
  • 4 eggs
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • 100g nice mature, tangy cheddar, grated
  • A little milk
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  1. Butter and flour.First make the pastry. In a mixing bowl, use your fingers to rub the butter into flour until the mixture resembles ground almonds (see picture, right). Alternatively, place the butter and flour in a food processor and blitz. Stir in the salt.
  2. Pour in two tablespoons of the water and very gently bring the mixture together into a ball of dough, adding the other tablespoon of water if you think it needs it. Do not over-knead the dough or it will be impossible to roll. Wrap the ball in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 mins. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  3. Pastry-lined tart caseGrease a 25cm tart (or quiche, or flan) tin. Roll out the pastry and use to line the tin. Using a fork, prick the base all over.
  4. Line the pastry with grease-proof paper and weigh down with baking beans. Put the tin on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the paper and the baking beans and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Turn the oven up to 180°C.
  6. Cooked Sea BeetWhilst the pastry is cooking, prepare the filling. Put the washed Sea Beet in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Squash it all in (Sea Beet, like Spinach, wilts down to a fraction of its original size during cooking), season, and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. You won’t need to add any water – what’s left still clinging to the leaves from washing will be sufficient. Stir after about 3 minutes, and cook for no longer than 6.
  7. Wringing dry Sea BeetHeat up a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and throw in the bacon or pancetta (you probably won’t need to add any oil, but you may want to add a teaspoon full just to get things going).
  8. When the bacon is nice and brown, turn the heat down, add the potatoes and fry until they have taken on some colour.
  9. Hopefully by now the Sea Beet will be cool enough to handle. Gather it all up into a tight ball and literally wring out as much liquid as you can by squeezing tightly. When it is reasonably dry, chop it up, and add it to the frying pan.
  10. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs into the cream and yoghurt. Stir in the grated cheddar and season well (remembering that the bacon will add quite a bit of saltiness to the finished dish). Now, Adding egg mixturethe mixture will probably be quite gloopy at this point, so pour in just enough milk to loosen it to a nice, pouring consistency.
  11. Scrape the contents of the frying pan into the baked pastry case, spreading it all out evenly. Pour over the custard mixture, ensuring it runs through all the nooks and crannies of the filling.
  12. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until completely set and golden brown on top.Sea Beet, Smoked Bacon and Potato Tart

Eat warm or cold, with some cold meat, lentils, or any other salady bits that take your fancy.

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