Shallotment tart

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We harvested a very healthy bunch of shallots last week and I decided to blow them all in one fell swoop, so as to make the most of their sweetness and flavour. However, as I rolled up my sleeves and began to peel away their reluctant skins, I soon remembered why I rarely cook shallots en masse. Half an hour later, my bounty lay naked and resplendent on the chopping board—some tiny enough to leave whole and others chopped in half. I melted a generous knob of butter in a small saucepan, threw in the shallots, a dash of balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar, covered and left on the lowest possible heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. I will not go into the pastry making process —it was long and not entirely successful, the end result resembling a fragile over-sized biscuit rather than a sturdy sheet of shortcrust pastry. If you are confident in your skills as a pâtissier then roll on, if not, then by all means buy the ready made version…

Roll your shortcrust pastry into a shape you find pleasing (I went for a rectangle) and slide it onto a sheet of lightly floured greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Slide into the oven heated to 200ºC for about 10 minutes until lightly browned. By the time you’ve messed around with your pastry your shallots should be beautifully soft, sweet and slightly caramelised. Tip the shallots onto the pastry and spread them out roughly, tear over some fresh sage leaves (you can fry these in butter first to intensify the flavour), crumble on some feta and finally a few gratings of parmesan—make sure you get the parmesan right to the edges as this results in a tasty cheesy crust (in my case a cheesy biscuit).  Put the tart in the oven for about 10 minutes and serve warm with a peppery green salad and a good dollop of tomato chilli jam. I realise this isn’t the healthiest recipe on the blog so be sure to share it!

Rosie

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