Ok so I got behind with the GBBO episodes and along with the usual Autumn sniffles, work and the start of our Hindu Festival Navarathri, blogging has had to take a back seat recently. Boooooo! So to catch up I have a recipe to celebrate the pastry and botanical weeks from The Great British Bake off – Squash Tart with Garden Herbs 🙂
I really enjoyed watching the GBBO contestants have fun (and struggle!) with making pastry from scratch and the Botanicals week was a new theme for GBBO this year which I think was a great idea! But I feel that unless you are a GBBO contestant, or have heaps of time on your hands, there’s really no need to make Filo or Puff Pastry from scratch. So this is a really simple recipe if you are like me and just want to have a yummy lunch or dinner without the drama 🙂
I’m really lucky to have some fresh herbs ready to hand in our garden (they are really easy to maintain even for non-Gardeners like me :-)), but this recipe allows the use of shop bought fresh or dried herbs. I have tried to embrace the change in season here in the UK by using Butternut Squash and I am looking forward to trying this out with different types of squash as well as pumpkins too!
Serves 2 – 4
What you need:
- 1 pack of Puff pastry – I used Jus Roll Puff Pastry (320g sheet)
- 1 medium sized Butternut Squash – peeled and de-seeded
- 1 medium red onion – sliced finely into semi circles
- Sun dried Tomato paste – about 4 heaped tablespoons or enough to cover the pastry base. I used a ready made jar by Sacla.
- 3 teaspoons of finely chopped herbs of your choice – I used 1 tsp of fresh Rosemary, 1 tsp of fresh Thyme and 1 tsp of fresh Parsley
- Feta cheese – a handful [You can leave this out if you are Vegan]
- Olive oil – to drizzle
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Chilli flakes (optional)
How to make it:
1. Set your oven to 200 deg Celcius (395F) and prepare the Squash. I cut mine into rough crescent shaped wedges, about 1/2 inch in depth.
2. Spread out the squash pieces on a roasting tray and season with salt and pepper and drizzle over olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they are half-cooked and softened. You don’t want to over cook them completely as they are going to cook further on top of the pastry.
3. While the squash is roasting you can roll out the Puff pastry into a rectangle so that it’s about 1/2 inch in depth (about the depth of a £1 coin) and then place onto your baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Use a butter knife (or any knife without a sharp edge) to score a 1 inch border around the pastry.
Not sure how to score a border? Lay out your puff pastry sheet and using a ruler measure out 1 inch border around the edge of the puff pastry. Only cut half way into the puff pastry. Do this while trying not to touch the puff pastry with your hands. Puff pastry needs to stay cold to rise. The warmth from your hands will cause the puff pastry to easily tear. If you think your puff pastry is starting to stretch after making your border, place it back in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.
4. Use the back of a spoon to spread out the sundried tomato paste onto the pastry as evenly as you can – but remembering not to spread onto the border.
5. Then place the roasted butternut squash pieces on top, followed by the Rosemary, Thyme and sliced onions (I kept the parsley to garnish before serving). If you like it a little spicy then you can also add some chilli flakes at this stage as well.
6. Drizzle again with olive oil and then place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is browned. Then leave to rest for about 5 minutes and add more freshly cracked back pepper if you wish.
7. Garnish with chopped parsley and crumbled feta, cut into your desired slices and serve! I like to have this with a nice refreshing salad or Tabbouleh 🙂
You can use the Squash peel to make a crisps by putting them in a bowl with some oil, salt (and pepper or red chilli powder) and then baking them at 220 Deg C for about 25 minutes or until they are nice and crisp.