The smallholding is softly stirring into life again. At dusk, while we are quickly grafting a few new apple varieties on the old trees, a bat swoops through the orchard and a toad is heard croaking by the pond. There is even an enthusiastic plum tree in blossom. In the raised beds we sow wibbly rows of onion sets between the winter leeks and emerging garlic, accompanied by our mouser cat, who pounces on the tiny bulbs as we bury them.


  • 25g Unsalted butter
  • 1tbsp Fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 750g Leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 375g All-butter puff pastry ready rolled
  • 100g Goat’s cheese sliced into four rounds
  • 2tsp Thyme leaves (fresh or dried)
  • A pinch of chipotle chilli flakes
  • A splash of milk


  • STEP 1

    Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, then stir in the sage leaves, leeks and a pinch of salt. Put the lid on and leave to cook gently for around 30 minutes until the leeks are soft, sweet and just beginning to caramelise. Stir in the apple cider vinegar a little bit at a time (taste as you go – too much will ruin the tart, but the right amount will balance the sweetness of the leeks), then set aside to cool.

  • STEP 2

    Unroll the puff pastry sheet and cut into quarters. Evenly divide the leeks and place in the centre rectangle of each quarter, leaving a thin border around the edge. Top each quarter with a round of goat’s cheese, then sprinkle over the thyme and chilli flakes. Brush the pastry edges with a little milk and bake in the oven at 220°C for 12–15 minutes until the pastry has puffed up and turned golden brown. Serve warm, alongside peppery winter salad leaves.

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. 

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