23 Feb 2013

Kicking off Lent with a Parsnip Tarte Tatin

With Carnival and Pancake Day over, some might remember (or would rather forget) the period of Lent that follows all the fun and food indulgence. I see Lent as a suitable period to remind ourselves of the rich and abundant life that we live and to try and give up one or two indulgent habits. As such, I am planning to cook more Vegetarian food until Easter and hopefully carry on afterwards! Though my partner and I love and eat  a lot of vegetables, we don't count ourselves as big fans of veggie food. In fact, we'd almost always go for a nice piece of animal (British!) protein on our plate if we had the choice. Missing out on it for a few days every week for a longer period seemed like a good effort to make, at least in our view.

So, to get Lent on to a good start, I tried to change our perception of vegetarian food with a simple parsnip tarte tatin. It really was delicious and we only marginally missed our beloved meat!

Parsnip Tarte Tatin

For 1 medium-sized tarte
  • 3-4 large parsnips
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  •  2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh chili
  • 2 tso finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1tsp of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp of clear honey
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • 50g grated cheddar
  • 4 sheets of filo pastry

Preheat the oven at 200
°C. Peel the parsnips and the onion. Finely slice the onion and cut the parsnips into 1cm slices. Parboil the parsnips and onions in salted water for no more than 5 minutes. In the meantime, mix together 1 tbsp olive oil with the garlic, ginger, chili, thyme, sugar, honey and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Spread the mix into the base of a pie or flan dish and place into the oven for 5 minutes. Once the oil is hot and the sugar and honey have melted, arrange the drained vegetables into the dish, season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg and scatter the grated cheddar on top. Cover with one sheet of filo pastry making sure the edges of the pastry are tucked well down the sides of the dish. Brush the pastry with olive oil and repeat this step with the remaining 3 sheets of pastry. Bake the tart for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. I would suggest to serve it hot with a green salad or steamed green vegetables; or actually a nice piece of succulent meat would also got quite well I imagine, if the intention was not to create a vegetarian meal!

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