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Spring tarts with watercress salsa verde & whipped lemon feta

Transform a sheet of shop-bought pastry into this stunning tart, piled with beautiful spring vegetables including radishes, baby carrots, peas and asparagus

  • Prep: 20 mins
    Cook: 30 mins
  • Makes 2 tarts (each serves 4)
  • Easy
  • Makes 2 tarts (each serves 4)
  • Easy
  • Calories 438
  • Carbohydrates 17
  • Saturated Fat 17
  • Sugar 4
  • Protein 9
  • Fat 36
  • Fibre 3
  • Salt 1

Nutrition per serving

  • Calories 438
  • Carbohydrates 17
  • Saturated Fat 17
  • Sugar 4
  • Protein 9
  • Fat 36
  • Fibre 3
  • Salt 1

Ingredients

  • 320g sheet ready rolled all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk, to glaze
  • handful baby carrots(about 8), peeled and any fat ones halved
  • handful radishes(about 10), halved
  • olive oilor rapeseed oil, for drizzling
  • bunch of thin-stemmed asparagus(about 16), woody ends trimmed
  • handful sugar snap peas(about 16)
  • 100g fresh or frozen garden peas
  • 200g block feta
  • 250g tub mascarpone
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 80g watercress
  • small bunch parsley
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 3 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Tip

Mix up the toppings
Asparagus & prosciutto: Cook a few slices of prosciutto under the grill until crispy. Top the tart with lots of thin asparagus stems, then crumble over the prosciutto and finish with some basil. 

Mix up the toppings
Carrot & hazelnut: Toast a handful of blanched hazelnuts in a dry pan until they smell nutty. Top the tart with lots of roasted baby carrots and scatter over the hazelnuts. 

Mix up the toppings
Pea & mint: Use 200g peas to top the tart, and replace the watercress with a big bunch of mint. Lots of fresh lemon zest will top it off nicely. 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Unroll the pastry but leave it on the parchment, then transfer it to a baking tray. Brush egg yolk all over. Trim the edges with a large, sharp knife – this will give you a neater finish but isn’t essential. Cut the pastry in half lengthways, and move the pieces apart so they have a little space to puff up as they cook. Score a border about 1cm from the edge of the pastry, all the way around, then cut slashes across the centre to prevent it from puffing too much. Be careful not to score the border.

  2. Toss the carrots and radishes in a little oil and a sprinkling of salt in a small roasting tin. Put the pastry on the top shelf of the oven and the veg on the middle one, and cook for 25 mins, or until the pastry is golden and has a crisp base, and the veg are starting to soften. Leave to cool while you make the lemony feta.

  3. Crumble the feta into a bowl, add the mascarpone, lemon zest and milk and blend using an electric hand whisk until smooth. Chill until needed. To make the salsa verde, put all the ingredients in a small hand processor and whizz to a pesto consistency. This will keep in the fridge for a few days.

  4. Bring a pan of water to the boil, and have a bowl to hand filled with cold water and some ice. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 1-2 mins until bright green but still crunchy. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out and plunge straight into the iced water. Do the same with the sugar snaps, and finally the peas, draining these in a sieve, then cool in the ice water with the other veg.

  5. Spread the whipped feta over the bases, top with the veg (you can mix them up or keep the roasted veg on one tart and the green veg on the other, if you like), then drizzle with salsa verde and a little oil. Best served within an hour or two, but leftovers will keep for a day in the fridge.

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