Cauliflower, onion and olive tart (Photo: Emma Boyd)

Recipe: Cauliflower, onion and olive tart

Farewell winter’s veg and welcome in spring with this delicious tart, perfect for a classy lunch or a simple dinner. 

While this tart makes the most of winter brassicas, it’s also a nod at the arrival of spring. I love tarts, and our kids do too – they’re quick and easy to whip up and a great way to include lots of different vegetables, flavours and textures in a meal. I have made my own pastry here using hazelnuts but if you don’t have those, use almonds or cashews, or even pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Store-bought pastry would be just fine too. Next time I make this I’m going to include a good handful of cavolo nero, which I’d add to the onions along with the cauliflower as they begin to caramelise.  

CAULIFLOWER, ONION & OLIVE TART

Makes 1 tart

  • 100g hazelnuts, roasted, skins removed
  • 200g flour (of your choice – plain wheat or a gluten-free mix are good)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 tablespoons sourdough starter or yoghurt
  • 400g cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, quartered, finely sliced
  • 7 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons cream or milk
  • 115g tasty cheese
  • 15 black olives, stoned, roughly chopped

In a spice grinder or food processor, process the hazelnuts until they resemble a coarse flour. Add the flour and salt and pulse a few times to combine. Next add the butter and process again until it resembles coarse crumbs before adding the egg and processing again. 

Lastly add the starter or yoghurt tablespoon by tablespoon until the mixture starts falling away from the sides of the bowl and sticks together if squeezed in your hand. Turn the dough out onto a clean floured bench and bring together into a disc. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight if making in advance. 

Steam the cauliflower until just tender then set aside to cool. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onions until caramelised. This will take 20 minutes or so and will require lots of stirring so patience is required. Once reduced significantly and beginning to caramelise, add the cauliflower and continue to cook for another 5 minutes before removing from the heat. 

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Break the eggs into a bowl, add the cream or milk and season with sea salt then whisk until combined. Add the onions and whisk again before lastly adding the cauliflower and olives and stirring until combined. 

Grease a 26-28cm tart tin/dish. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out to a thickness of 3-4mm. Line the tin with the pastry, prick with a fork all over or slash with a knife before blind baking for 12 or so minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and pour in the egg mixture before returning to the oven for about 30 minutes until set in the middle. Serve with a crunchy green salad.    




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