The nuts demand the use of food processor to make the pastry! This makes a large tart which is great when entertaining a crowd or if you love leftovers.
175g fine plain whole-meal flour (stone-ground)
75g raw brazil nuts
125g fridge cold, salted butter, cut into cubes
Smoked sea salt (plain is fine too)
2 free range egg yolks (use the whites in the tart filling)
A little cold water but only if you really need it!
2 onions finely chopped, sautéed in a spoon of olive oil until soft
*200g cooked spinach, finely chopped (I used defrosted frozen leaf spinach)
300g cottage cheese
200ml semi-skimmed milk
6 large free-range eggs, plus the leftover egg whites from the pastry
2 dessertspoons of freshly chopped chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x 200g pack of feta cheese, crumbled
200g of red and yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced
Place the flour and Brazil nuts in the food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add the butter and salt and pulse until you have a breadcrumb consistency. Drop in the egg yolks and pulse for 10 seconds. Leave the dough for a couple of minutes for the moisture to start being absorbed. Pulse again to form a dough. Do this a couple of times more and if you really need to, add a few drops of cold water. The dough should form in the processor bowl and leave the sides clean.
Remove from the bowl, wrap in cling wrap and leave to chill for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. While this is in the fridge, cook the onions and make the filling. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, cottage cheese, milk, eggs, chives and seasoning.
To line the flan tin hit the pastry gently to flatten with a rolling pin before rolling out as thinly as possible to fit a 28 – 30cm loose bottom flan tin. This pastry is very short and tends to crumble but you can press it all together again in the tin to make sure you seal any cracks or holes. Line with foil and baking beans and cook at 180oC/fan 160oC for 20 minutes.
Place the onions in the bottom of the pastry case and top with the crumbled feta cheese. Pour over the filling and top with the sliced tomatoes. Place in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes or until the filling has completely set. Cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Goes well with a green leaf salad tossed in a punchy dressing.
- De-frosted spinach can be quite wet so its a good idea to just squeeze all the moisture out by wrapping it in some sheets of paper towel.