I love tarts of all shapes and sizes, sweet, savoury, hot or cold. I was even happier when I picked up a copy of the Christmas issue of BBC's Good Food Vegetarian magazine, because on the cover was a veggie tart that would even make a meat lover drool.
A crisp filo tart case filled with soft, golden butternut squash. Add crunchy nuts and some sweet dried cranberries - topped off with melty, tangy blue cheese. Mmmmmm!
In the magazine they used a 20cm fluted tart tin, but I used a large, 4 hole Yorkshire pudding tin to make individual ones. You can use any size tart tins - just cut the filo into squares that are a little bigger than the tins. I substituted pecans instead of walnuts and added a sprinkle of chilli flakes on the top. They were fabulous as a starter, with a scattering of salad leaves.
Festive Filo Tarts
Adapted from a Rachel Allen recipe
in the BBC Vegetarian Christmas Magazine 07
200 g filo pastry
melted butter, for brushing
1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
50 g pecans, toasted
50 g dried cranberries
chilli flakes to your taste
100 g vegetarian blue cheese
To make the filo tarts, heat the oven to 160ºC and cut the pastry into squares that are slightly bigger than the tart tins. Brush each sheet with melted butter and layer in the tin, about 5/6 squares per tart, each sheet at an angle to the previous one, so you have a starry shape with pointy edges. Bake for 10-20 minutes, depending on the size you are making, or until golden. Set aside.
Heat the oven to 200ºC. Spread the cubes of butternut squash on a baking tray, toss with the olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until soft. Remove from tray and cool.
The two steps above can be done a couple of hours ahead.
To finish the tarts, heat the oven to 160ºC. Place the roasted squash in the filo cases and sprinkle with the pecans, dried cranberries and a few chilli flakes. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until warm and then crumble the cheese over the top. Return to the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Serve warm.
Edited November 2008: This dish is on it's way to Mansi, over at the Fun and Food Cafe - she's hosting a Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipe Carnival. I am really looking forward to the entries, as every night I cook for the vegetarians in my house and am in need of a few new ideas!