Monday, 19 March 2012

Dinner 19.03.2011 Caramlized onion and smoked garlic tart,

“Whilst the cats away, the mice make garlic tart” says Charlie.

And he’s right. As the Eurostar pulls out of Dover, bound for ropey Continental breakfasts, beer and German sausage, I reach for the bulb of smoked garlic that has been sitting (much lusted after, oft spoken of) in my pantry, waiting for its debut.

I based my tart on a mish-mash of recipes, with influences of Ottolenghi’s caramelised garlic tart (puff pastry, caramelised garlic, double cream…) and a traditional French Pissaladiere (plenty of rosemary, caramelised onion, enough garlic to kill a mosquito from a thousand feet). ‘Fusion Food’ you might say- A hybrid of French and Middle Eastern, classic and contemporary.

Twenty minutes in, and the pastry was beginning to turn golden. The roasting garlic was smelling both sweet and sharp and the onions were caramelising. I realised I was onto something special. The puff pastry meant the tart was a little swollen, bumpy and misshapen, but as most people know, I like my food (animals, men…) ugly.

The smoked garlic was definitely the star of this dish- I was worried it might have lost its smoked taste during the cooking process, but subtley it survived. The tart was accompanied with a leafy salad, something a little special, I added marinated golden beetroot, roasted hazelnuts, feta and red onions, not to mention plenty of fresh herbs and winter spinach from my garden.


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