A good recipe to use up leftover Christmas cheese and veg
This recipe was inspired by my article on making the most of leftover Christmas cheese and veg. This is a simple and indulgent tart that’s perfect for a light lunch or supper. Roasting the vegetables intensifies the flavours, bringing out the natural sweetness of the leeks and adding texture to the cauliflower. The pastry has a pleasant savoury bite from the parmesan and crunch from the polenta. A good recipe to use up any odds and ends of vegetables and cheese. Best made and served fresh.
For the pastry:
225g plain flour
140g unsalted butter, cold & cubed
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp polenta
50g parmesan, grated
3-4 tbsp cold water
For the vegetables:
2 large tomatoes
1-2 tbsp rapeseed oil
For the Welsh rarebit:
25g unsalted butter
25g plain flour
225ml whole milk
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
15 dashes/shakes of Worcestershire sauce
1 egg yolk
100g strong cheese—vintage cheddar or stilton or a collection of leftover cheese from the fridge
Preheat the oven to 180C.
To make the pastry, place the flour in a large bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs and then add in the salt, polenta and parmesan and give it a good stir. Add in the egg and the water and bring the dough together into a ball. Tip out on to a lightly floured work surface, knead lightly then wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge to rest and chill for 30 mins.
For the vegetables, wash and divide the cauliflower into bite sized florets and place in a roasting tin. Wash and trim the leek, making sure to remove any grit and slice on the diagonal to around ½ inch thick and add to the roasting tin. Wash and quarter the tomatoes and add to the tin and then drizzle over the oil and sprinkle on some salt. Roast in the pre-heated oven for 20-30 mins, or until the cauliflower and the leeks have coloured.
Once the pastry has chilled, remove from the fridge 10 mins before you want to roll it. Grease your tart tin with a little butter—my tin is a fluted rectangular tin measuring 20 x 30cm.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out your pastry to around 3-4mm thick. Carefully lift the pastry up and into your tin. Gently ease the pastry into the corners and fluted edges of the tin—I like to tear a piece of pastry, lightly dust it in flour and use it to press the dough into the tin. Trim the pastry, but not completely to the edge of the tin—leave an overhang over around an inch in case it shrinks in the oven.
Line the pastry case with greaseproof and weigh it down with baking beans or use cling-film and some rice and lentils—this will keep the pastry flat while blind baking. Bake the pastry in the oven for 15 mins, then remove the greaseproof or cling-film and bake for a further 10 mins, or until golden and cooked. Remove from the oven then, using a sharp knife, trim the pastry edges so that you have a neat edge.
While the pastry is baking, make your Welsh rarebit by melting the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat and then add in the flour and stir to make a paste. Slowly add in the milk, stirring continuously so that you don’t get any lumps—I’m a huge fan of using a whisk. You want the sauce to be quite thick, so you may not want all the milk. However, the sauce will continue to thicken when you add in the cheese so you can slacken the mixture with a further drop of milk if you wish.
Add in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and egg yolk, followed by your choice of cheese. Once all the ingredients have been added and you have a smooth and thick sauce check the seasoning, adjusting with more salt or mustard or Worcestershire sauce and pop to one side while you prepare the tart case.
Preheat the grill to high. Arrange your roasted vegetables in the tart case then generously spoon over the Welsh rarebit mixture. Pop under the hot grill to brown the Welsh rarebit and serve immediately with some chutney and a crisp green salad.
Recipe: Beca Lyne-Pirkis