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Wild garlic, nettle and dandelion tart

  • Serves 8-10
  • A little tricky

This springtime tart – brought to you by Kathy Bishop and Tom Crowford from their Somerset smallholding – is made from foraged ingredients, including wild garlic, nettle and dandelion

Wild garlic, nettle and dandelion tart ©Kathy Bishop and Tom Crowford

Kathy Bishop and Tom Crowford swapped city life for a fresh start in the West Country, where they grow their own delicious produce and make seasonal recipes.

This is one of their favourite recipes to make in spring when the first of the wild garlic appears. Combine the garlic with dandelion leaves and young stinging nettles, both of which are usually in abundance at this time of year, as well as lots of mature Cheddar cheese to make a delicious tart for the table.

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Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 150g wholemeal plain flour
  • 100g plain white flour
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • Chives, a small handful, finely chopped
  • 40g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1½ tbsp cold water
  • 1 small egg, lightly beaten

For the filling

  • 4 eggs
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 10 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 100g young stinging nettle leaves
  • A knob of unsalted butter
  • 40g young dandelion leaves
  • 60g wild garlic leaves
  • 100g Cheddar cheese, grated

Method

  • Step 1

    First, make the pastry. Sift the flours and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and lightly rub it into the flour until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Gently fold in the chives and grated cheese. Sprinkle over the cold water and stir it into the pastry along with the beaten egg. Bring the mixture together to form a green-flecked dough and shape it into a ball, leaving the bowl clean.

  • Step 2

    Roll out the pastry into a rectangle and use it to line a butter-greased, shallow baking tray or tart tin (about 35cm x 25cm). Prick the base with a fork a few times, then put in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

  • Step 3

    Remove the pastry from the fridge and place in the oven to blind bake for 15 minutes until lightly cooked and dry to the touch.

  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, for the filling, beat the eggs in a jug, stir in the milk and yoghurt, and season with a pinch of sea salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

  • Step 5

    Bring a deep-sided pan of water to the boil and drop in the nettles. Simmer for a minute or two until they are wilted and cooked through. Drain and leave to cool before squeezing out any excess water from the leaves. Reuse the same pan to melt a generous knob of butter over a medium  heat, add the dandelion leaves and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the wild garlic  leaves, which will wilt almost immediately. Once  the dandelion and wild garlic leaves are cooked,  stir in the drained nettles and season well with  salt and pepper.

  • Step 6

    Scatter the cooked greens evenly over the base of the pastry case, sprinkle over the grated cheese and pour over the egg mixture. Bake in the oven at 180°C for 30–40 minutes until puffed up, cooked through and blistered golden.

The Seasonal Table

Kathy and Tom combine running their Somerset smallholding with full-time jobs, and also find time to write a blog called 
The Seasonal Table – a journal of slow food and slow living. 

Find out more about The Seaonal Table:

Words and pictures by Kathy Bishop and Tom Crowford.

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