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Tart up the new year


COMFORT FOOD Courgette tart to warm the cockles of the heart.


Redmod Cabot

Christmas was most enjoyable; there may have been tears, sadness and even fights, but overall, fun, excitement, sharing and good family craic shone brightly. Even our two dogs Molly and Tulip loved it, having eaten the entire organic roasted Christmas chicken while it was resting on the kitchen table! How and ever….
We loved Delia Smith’s last-minute Christmas cake, which I wrote about back in December. The topping of glazed nuts was delicious as an alternative to marzipan and icing. One slice remains, and I’ve eaten half that this morning! This is a good recipe, trust me. Save it.

My 2020 resolutions

  • Continue to grow whatever produce one can; hard work but always more enjoyable. Potatoes in sacks, herbs on windowsills, courgettes or spinach on patios.
  • Continue to eat a respectful mount of good-quality meat from meat counters, where one can talk with a butcher. Pre-packs are out! All meats raised in over-intensive situations are out too – as is farmed fish – until welfare conditions improve for those animals.
  • Eat plenty of veg with that!
  • Dispel the folly of cheap food. Yes, the vegetables may cost .49c, but let’s start to really look at the nutritional cost we pay for silly cheap vegetables or meat. Foods are the essential fuels we consume to run our bodies and minds. You wouldn’t put bad fuel in your favourite engine, would you?

Courgette tart
In terms of food, Christmas might be over, but spring has not yet sprung and we continue to seek warm, comforting winter foods. A cold spell will mean we need to eat more to warm our bodies. Comfort foods can include of roast meats and/or veg, slow-cook stews and vegetable bakes or casseroles. Here is a recipe recipe for a courgette tart that appeals to our winter palette, and looks good too.
It’s important to season the courgette correctly, yet show restraint with the rosemary. Add a splash of wine vinegar to the courgettes as they cook, or add a squeeze of lemon to the cream mix to sharpen the flavours.

What you need

  • 375g courgette
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 150ml cream
  • 3 big tbsp grated parmesan
  • Butter
  • Seasoning
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 22cm (8-9 inch) pastry case, blind baked

What you do
Wash and cube the unpeeled courgettes and place in a pan with a big lump of butter, a splash of water, the chopped onion, the rosemary sprig and seasoning. Cover the pan and cook over a medium heat until the courgettes lose their crunch (barely cooked). Remove the rosemary twig and allow to the courgette mix to cool.
In a bowl, beat the eggs, cream and Parmesan, seasoning to taste. Stir in the courgette mix, then transfer the lot to your pastry case. Bake in a pre-heated 180°C oven for about 30 minutes – removing before the fresh green and yellow colours turn brown. Serve warm rather than straight from oven or cold.

Red Cabot is interested in food, nature and small things. He sells his food at Westport Country Markets in St Anne’s Boxing Club, James’s Street car park, Westport, every Thursday, from 8am to 1pm.