The Google+ community, Foodies+, which I help moderate is having a pie challenge this month. You can choose two or more ingredients from a given list, and then awaken all your mad scientist urges and invent a pie that has never been eaten before (and may never be eaten again if it tastes revolting)! I decided to go for celeriac as one of the ingredients as I often see it in the store, but never really knew quite what to do with this lumpy, ugly-looking vegetable. I figured that sausage would go well with it as sausage goes with pretty much everything. It’s a bit like bacon in that respect. I thought I would also add chestnuts, as they were one of the ingredients on the list, but as I forgot to buy them, I threw some pecans in instead. They were also, happily for me, on the challenge list.
I had half a Scamorza cheese in the fridge. The first half went into making my younger son’s absolute favourite risotto with Scamorza and bresaola , but I wasn’t sure what to do with the second half as there’s only so much risotto full of dripping strands of Scamorza you can eat without your arteries clogging up permanently. My tart invention was the perfect way to use it up (don’t you love recipes that mean you can use up odds and ends in the fridge?!). Of course, if you prefer not to use meat, you could swap the sausage for Porcini or Portobello mushrooms and I bet it would taste great. I was a little worried about the how the pecans would taste with everything else, but in the end, their sweetness and the earthiness of the celeriac worked well together. I ate this tart both hot and at room temperature, and it was good both ways. If you don’t have Scamorza, I imagine that any firm cheese like cheddar or gruyère would taste good. So , there you have it, a tart that taste of Fall!
Travel Photo Of The Week
This is a travel photo of my from a very exciting country we’ve just been to visit for the first time. We had the great privilege to be able to visit Japan recently. I’ll be telling you all about it sometime in the New Year, but in the meantime, what better way to celebrate an Autumn-flavoured tart than with a photo of beautiful Japanese maples starting to turn red? This photo was taken in a Zen garden in the town of Nara, a little South of Kyoto. The garden really was tranquil and calm with little waterfalls, stepping stones across ponds and gardeners combing the pine trees. Yes, you read that right. When we were there, there was a group of gardeners using large combs to brush all the old needles out of the beautifully manicured pine trees. They then meticulously picked up every single last needle that fell to the ground. These gardens don’t make themselves this beautiful just by growing!
By Lisa Watson
- 1 roll Puff Pastry
- 350 g 12.3 oz Celeriac (peeled)
- 1 medium Red Onion
- 2 Sausage
- 100 g 3.5 oz Chard Leaves
- 200 g 7 oz Scamorza
- 40 g 1.4 oz Pecans
- to taste Salt and Pepper
- Heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Grease and line a tart dish.
- Slice the onion. Peel and dice the celeriac into 1.5 cm (1⁄2 in) chunks. Shred the green part of the chard leaves into strips.
- Take the outer casing off the sausage and crumble it. Roughly chop the pecans. Dice the scamorza.
- Saute the onion in 3 Tbsp of olive oil until it starts to become translucent. Add the sausage and saute until browned.
- Add the diced celeriac, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. If the celeriac starts to stick to the pan, add 2 -3 Tbsp of water and stir.
- Uncover the pan and add the chard. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Let the tart mixture cool for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Put the puff pastry in the tart dish, leaving the edges hanging over the sides.
- Fill with the celeriac mixture. Sprinkle the top with the Scamorza and pecans.
- Fold the crust over the top of the filling.
- Bake for 25 – 3à minutes until the pastry is a golden-brown colour.
- The tart can be eaten hot or at room temperature.