|Salmon, Leek and Spinach Tart|
Last week was a friend's birthday and to celebrate we had a little dinner party here. She does not eat meat, and not everyone can arrive on time. Two of my guests have young children and cannot get here until the little ones are safely tucked into bed. So the menu had to be one that could be kept at room temperature and not be spoiled. I wanted an easy option and something that could be cooked in advance. I like to be part of the fun, not stuck in the kitchen once guests arrive. This tart was perfect. It was done an hour ahead and we had drinks and nibbles until everyone was here and ready to eat.
I served the tart with roasted tomatoes and a Salade Nicoise, which consisted of Little Gem and Cos lettuce, new potatoes, spring onions, French beans,and avocado.
The cake was a lemon sponge filled with lemon curd and topped with lemon icing. I served it with vanilla ice cream.
It was a pretty meal, enjoyed by everyone and the 'birthday girl', who usually hosts the birthdays, was delighted.
Here's how to make the tart. It looks complicated, but it is not.
For an even easier option, you could used tinned salmon.
1 package pre-rolled shortcrust pastry
( You can make your own, but I went for the easy option.)
2 fillets of salmon.
1 leek, washed, split lengthways and chopped.
1/2 packet of baby spinach. (The rest can go in the salad.)
5 oz cream or creme fraiche
10 oz milk
1/2 cup grated Cheddar.
salt and pepper
a little dash of nutmeg or cayenne pepper (optional)
Fit the pastry to the tart tin.
Put in the fridge for 10 minutes. This seems to prevent it shrinking.
Brush with a little egg mixed with water.
Blind bake at 200 C for 10 minutes.
While the pastry is in the fridge, put the salmon fillets in a piece of foil, add salt and pepper and a little white wine or lemon juice.
Wrap the foil loosely, ensuring the juices will not escape.
Bake at 180 F for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, open the foil and allow the salmon to cool enough so you can handle it,
Gently flake the salmon and remove the skin.
Put chopped leeks in a frying pan and saute gently in oil and butter for five minutes to soften.
When the pastry shell has been baked, layer the leeks in the bottom, then the flaked salmon, then the spinach and finally the cheese.
In a small bowl, whisk the two eggs, cream and milk and add seasoning,
Pour the mixture over the salmon, leeks and spinach and put in the oven.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes at 180 F. Keep your eye on it near the end so it doesn't go too brown.
Test the centre with a skewer to see if it is set.
Remove from oven. Remember that it will continue to cook while it is warm (a bit like scrambled eggs).
Let it cool to room temperature and serve.