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Spinach & pine nut tarts and Rhubarb tarts

Spinach & pine nut tarts and Rhubarb tarts

December has arrived. And with it, a decidedly cold snap. What better time to spend all day in the kitchen, with various pots and pans bubbling on the stove and the windows steaming up?

These tarts can be adapted to whatever you have in the fridge. I happened to have spinach, spring greens and rhubarb that needed eating (the need to test recipes several months in advance means we’re often left with out-of-season produce) but they would work just as well with leeks and kale or apples and raisins. They’re so quick and easy to make, and are a great standby starter or dessert.

Crispy filo tarts
Makes 12
Ready in 30 minutes

4 sheets Feuilles de filo pastry
25g butter, melted

300g mixed greens (I used 200g spinach, 100g spring greens)
175g cream cheese (I used extra light Philly, so full-fat should work too)
50g pine nuts, toasted
¼ nutmeg, grated

400g rhubarb, roughly chopped
2 tbsp honey (I used Sarah’s warming honey with cinnamon)

1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Wilt the greens in a large frying pan set over a medium heat – add a tbsp or two of water if they’re starting to catch. When wilted right down, take off the heat and stir in the cream cheese, pine nuts and nutmeg. Season well.

2. Meanwhile, simmer the rhubarb and honey together in a medium saucepan until the rhubarb is soft but still holding its shape (about 5 minutes) You may need to add a tbsp or two of water to get it going.

3. Lay the four sheets of filo out onto a large chopping board and cut into 9 pieces. Stack the rectangles up to keep them from drying out. Take a 12-hole muffin tin and fill each one with a filo rectangle, letting the excess pastry stick up around the edges. Brush each with melted butter, and lay another rectangle on top at a slightly different angle. Repeat until each muffin hole is lined with three layers of filo pastry.

4. Fill 6 of the tarts with the spinach/veggie mix and the other six with the honeyed rhubarb. (I had a bit of spinach mix leftover, so I made 7 veggie tarts and 5 rhubarb but the quantities above should do 6 of each, with a little leftover). Bake for 10–15 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the pastry isn’t getting too crisp.

5. To serve, crumble a little goat’s cheese on top of the spinach tarts and drizzle with balsamic. Serve the rhubarb tarts with a few spoonfuls of double cream.