Jan 09

Broccoli & Truffle Cheese Tarts




Broccoli & Truffle Cheese Tart1



So here we are, starting the new year with a simple veggie and cheese tart. To be honest, this was meant to be a wonderful broccoli and Stilton version, but a “robbery” of epic proportions occurred this very afternoon which prevented me from achieving my goal.


I woke up today, checked my emails, walked the dog and then went to get the grocery shopping done. Before I left, however, I made sure I secured the bin lid and put away any food morsels that could potentially become the dog’s breakfast. No such luck. When I got home I found a single empty waxed wrapper on Doopey’s bed; nothing else was out of place in the kitchen. Flipped the wrapper and the torn bit said ‘Mature Stilton’. He ate the entire block of cheese ~ all 250g of it!!! How he got it off the table without knocking over the wine bottles is beyond me. I was very miffed, and when I called out to him he came into the livingroom with his head bowed, ears pinned back, doing a sort of half-crouch-half-crawl walk. Yupp, he was sorry but couldn’t help himself … bla bla bla. With soft, moist brown eyes starring up at me, I forgave him on the spot … but I did banish him to the time-out corner to think about what he’s just done.



So, with no more blue cheese I had little choice but to utilize a different variety of cheese. Thankfully I still had a wedge of a sweet pepper & truffle cheese. I bought this at Christmas and it was brilliant! A hint of spice with the earthy notes coming from the truffles. I wasn’t sure if it would do for this recipe but it worked out wonderfully indeed.



To begin, I started by flash boiling the broccoli flourettes in salted water, then refresh them in iced water to retain their luscious greenery.



Broccoli & Cheese Tart2



Then I made a standard bechamel sauce: milk, butter, minced garlic, flour. To this I added some grated cheese. Season accordingly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to just warm. Crack a whole egg into this mixture … the egg will act as a binder when the tarts are baked.



Next, prepare the pie tins by spraying with a bit of oil. Then line each tin with shortcrust pastry. I used a regular store bought brand, but feel free to make your own from scratch.



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Arrange the broccoli flowers and cheese pieces in each pastry crust. Season with salt and pepper.

Then gently pour the cheese and egg mixture over the top and shake the tin to even it out. Place the tart tins on a cookie sheet lined with foil and bake for 20 – 25 mins at 180ÂșC. When done the crust should be slightly toasted round the edges and the cheese should be bubbly and golden.



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Serve immediately with a side of salad for a wonderful lite lunch. I never have many vegetarian dishes on hand, so this one is a keeper for when I happen to have vegetarian guests round.



Broccoli & Cheese Tart





Ingredients : (makes 4)

  • 200 g flash-boiled broccoli flourettes
  • 2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry
  • 150 g sweet pepper & truffle cheese
  • 400 mls bechamel sauce
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 whole egg
  • salt & pepper






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