I was looking for something hot for lunch, that would be satisfying but not heavy or overly caloric. With a head of broccoli in the fridge, I hit on this when I saw pastry in the store. I picked up some fennel to pair with it and quark for a base. Once home again, I popped the veg in to start roasting while I made the pastry dough and then assembled it. The whole thing took 20 minutes to prep and then a few more to finish baking, and we had a quick easy lunch ready to go. It would have been quicker still had I bought the pastry, but I rather like making my own. This one I made with whole meal flour too, so it came out of the oven with a rather rustic look to it. Things would have been even quicker had I not had help from someone in an observation tower...
Crust: (you can use a store bought crust if you want, but this is also very quick and easy, I promise! It is better if you have a half hour to let it chill before rolling it out, but it still works if you don't)
3/4 c flour
1/2 c cold butter, cut into pieces
pinch of salt
1/4 (approximate) milk
Tart: 1 head broccoli, floretted
1 head fennel, roughly chopped
1 tbsp vinaigrette of your choice (we used one from a local monastery using vin cuit, a local molasses made from boiling down pear juice)
1/3 c quark
1 tsp sumac
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Place broccoli and fennel on a baking try and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Bake at 200°C 15 minutes.
2) In the mean time, place flour in a large bowl. Add the butter and mix with finger tips until a crumb like mix is achieved. Add milk and salt and mix with a fork to form dough. Let rest (if you have time) 30 minutes in the fridge. Knead briefly and roll out on a floured surface.
3) Line a tart plate with the pastry. Mix the quark and egg and spread on the bottom of the pastry.
3) Spread the veg over the quark and egg and then sprinkle with sumac, season, and bake at 200°C for a further 15 - 20 minutes until the crust is brown and the veg tender.
I was very happy with this. It was tasty and hit the spot perfectly. The only tweak I would make in future would be to crumble feta or ricotta salata over the top of the tart before baking.
Book Pairing: I was listening to the tail end of Jane Austen's Lady Susan while I assembled this. It is the first Austen I have strongly disliked. The main character was manipulative, conniving and egocentric. The epistolary form of the novella doesn't leave a huge amount of room for other characters to be fully developed and I can't claim to have enjoyed it. The reader also probably played a role in my dislike as I found the American accent rather jarring. Despite loving Austen generally, I cannot recommend this one and I'm glad it was only three hours long!
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