Easy Easter feast: Courgette, leek and spinach tart
This makes a fantastic vegetarian main course or could happily be served as a starter. Assembling the tart in an ovenproof frying pan and starting it cooking on the hob helps to crisp up the pastry base, but you could also make it in a 23cm springform cake tin and pop it straight in the oven.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
500g courgettes (about 4 medium), trimmed and cut into 2cm dice
70g unsalted butter
400g leeks (about 3 medium), trimmed and thinly sliced
260g washed spinach
1 large egg
zest of 1 lemon
a small grating of nutmeg
10 mint leaves, shredded
10 basil leaves, shredded
20g finely grated parmesan
6 sheets filo pastry
- Preheat the oven to 220C/ 200C fan/gas 7. Mix the oil and garlic then toss with the courgette. Season and spread over a large baking tray to roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway, until golden, then set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat 15g of butter in a large sauté or saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the leeks plus a pinch of salt and sweat for 6-7 minutes until soft but still green. Tip into a bowl and set aside.
- Add 5g butter to the pan and then the spinach. Stir for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Tip into a sieve and press with a spoon to extract as much water as possible.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the ricotta, egg, lemon zest, nutmeg, herbs and all but 2 tsp of the parmesan. Mix through the leeks, spinach and courgette. Season.
- Lower the oven to 200C/ 180C/gas 6. Melt the remaining butter and brush a little all over the base and sides of an ovenproof frying pan about 23cm in diameter across the top and at least 5cm deep around the edges.
- Lightly brush a sheet of filo with butter and lay it in the base of the pan, with the excess pastry overhanging the edges. Brush another filo sheet with butter and place in the pan overlapping the sheet below. Repeat this process, overlapping the sheets to give an even covering of pastry all the way round the pan.
- Tip the filling into the case and scatter with the reserved parmesan. Trim the overhanging pastry with clean scissors and discard. Scrunch the excess pastry over the filling and brush with the remaining butter. Place the pan on the hob over a medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes to help the pastry base crisp up a little, then bake for about 25 minutes until golden on top. Cool to room temperature before serving.
LOVED & FOUND BUKETTRAUBE 2020 (12.5%), £8.99, Waitrose. What a wine! Extremely rare and sensationally fruity, this liquid splendour from South Africa has all the joyful ripeness to round out the veggies in this dish and finishes with a gorgeous uptick in freshness. A white to make everyone’s day.