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Pesto and Green Veg Polenta Tart

This delicious summer recipe uses polenta to form a tart crust - a fantastic and naturally gluten free alternative to pastry - which is then topped with pesto and green vegetables.

To make it dairy free, omit the hard cheese from the polenta mixture (up the seasoning to compensate) and leave off the goat’s cheese. You could always top with your choice of a dairy free cheese, if you like.

Pesto and green veg tart

Serves 6 to 8

Suitable for gluten free, dairy free (with modifications)

Pesto and green vegetable tart

Ingredients for the crust

500ml gluten free, vegetable stock

150g / 5 ½ oz polenta

50g / 1 ¾ oz (vegetarian) grated hard cheese

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1 egg

Salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the topping

5 heaped tbsps pesto (a dairy free version is available from Meridian)

6 - 8 asparagus spears

1 courgette, thinly sliced

85g / 3 oz goat’s cheese

Pine nuts, to top

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170°C / 325°F / Gas 3.

To make the crust, bring the stock to boil in a saucepan. Add the polenta and turn down to a medium-low heat, stirring vigorously to make sure that lumps don’t form. When the mixture has thickened, stir in the rosemary and grated hard cheese.

Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before beating in the egg and seasoning.

Spread the mixture into a lightly greased tin - 30cm x 18cm (12 inch x 7 inch) in size. Pop into the oven and cook for 20 minutes, until just firm. Set aside and leave to cool whilst you prepare the topping.

Wash the courgette and slice into thin rounds. Pop the asparagus spears into a pan of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes, then drain and plunge into ice cold water.

Spread the pesto over the polenta crust, then top with the sliced courgette and place the asparagus in a border along the edges. Dot over the goat’s cheese and scatter with pine nuts. Pop back into the oven for a further 20 minutes or so - until the courgette is cooked.

Finish with an optional drizzle of olive oil and fresh sprigs of rosemary, then serve immediately whilst still warm. Lovely with some roasted baby potatoes and a summer salad.

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