Serves four hungry for lunch, or ten as a snack …
This one is a pepper squash implementation:
Measurements below are approximate – take them as a guide, not as a precise recipe. My resultant tart measures 25×35 cmm (xxx in) and is made with:
- 600g peeled, deseeded squash flesh, cut into 1cm-thick chunky slices; pictures below record an example of the butternut squash.
- 4 large shallots (300g?), peeled and cut into halves or quarters,
- olive oil,
- salt and freshly ground black pepper,
- A few rosemary and/or thyme sprigs (could be replaced by a tsp of dried stuff, when in dire straits),
- 300g large, firm mushrooms, thickly sliced,
- about 550g ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry ,
- 100g washed-rind cheese (stinking bishop, ogleshield or taleggio) , or other cheese configuration, with a significant character – not the mozzarella type.
- Heat the oven to 190C/375F
- Put the squash and shallots on a large baking tray.
- Pour over the oil, season and scatter on the herbs.
- Roast for 15 minutes (until the squash starts to soften), stir in the mushrooms.
- Cook until everything is cooked and starting to caramelise (no more than 20 minutes).
- Take the vegetables out of the oven, and, if you need the same baking tray for the rest of the process, remove the cooked vegetables into a bowl, wipe the tray dry.
- Turn up the oven to 200C/400F.
- Prepare the pastry (e.g. roll it until the size is somewhat bigger than the baking tray, if your tray has a vertical side edge).
- Lay the pastry sheet on the tray and score a border 2cm in all around the edge; don’t cut right through.
- Spread the veg over the pastry, leaving the border clear.
- Slice the cheese thickly and arrange on top.
- Add more herbs and seasoning, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.
- Serve with a salad of bitter or peppery leaves to balance the sweet squash and shallots.
If you don’t want to take the pastry route, give the roast squash, shallot and mushroom mix a little longer in the oven and serve on a bed of leaves as a salad, dressed with a little more oil and a trickle of good balsamic vinegar.