Root vegetable tarte tatin, primavera salad and home-made ricotta

Serves 2

Tarte tatin

  • 500g puff pastry
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into 1/2cm rounds
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced into 1/2cm rounds
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced into 1/2cm rounds
  • 1 banana shallot, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 50g of butter
  • 1 tbsp of sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • plain flour, for dusting

Primavera salad

  • 40g broad beans, defrosted if frozen
  • 75g sugar snap peas, trimmed and destring
  • 60g garden peas
  • 6 purple asparagus spears, woody base removed
  • 30g pea shoots
  • Handful mint leaves
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • sea salt

Homemade ricotta

  • 1 litre full fat milk
  • grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 muslin cloth (j-cloths works here)

Method:

Preheat oven to 200C fan/220C electric/gas mark 6

Begin with the tarte.

Into a pan of salted boiling water, add the parsnip and boil for 2 minutes. Then add the carrots and sweet potato and boil for a further 2 minutes. Drain and allow to cool spread out onto kitchen towel to absorb the moisture.

Meanwhile, take an ovenproof frying pan approx 25cm wide and cut a disc of puff pastry using the frying pan as your guide. Chill in the fridge on a parchment lined baking tray.

Over a medium heat, melt the butter in your frying pan and add the sugar and vinegar. Once melted together, add the shallots and season with salt. Reduce the heat a little and once they begin to caramelise, add the thyme. Stir through and remove from the heat. Allow to cool.

While the shallots are cooling, make the ricotta.

Heat the milk until just boiling, add the lemon juice and rind, season with salt and stir through briefly. Allow to stand for 1 minute, then carefully pour into a muslin lined sieve over a bowl. Allow to drain slowly while you finish the remainder of the dish.

Place a saucepan of water on to boil and assemble the tarte.

Arrange the par boiled vegetables in a mosaic pattern on top of the shallots on the base of the frying pan. Try not to leave any gaps. Top with the chilled pastry and gently tuck in around the vegetables. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, until your pastry is gorgeously puffed and golden. Check after 15 minutes to drain away any excess butter which may be bubbling up around the sides. When ready, allow to stand for 5 minutes.

While the tarte is baking, make the salad.

Salt the boiling water and cook the broad beans for 2 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl of ice water. After 1 minute, remove and set aside. Repeat with the peas. You may wish to remove the pale green shells from the broad beans, depending on their size; larger broad beans have quite a tough shell, but smaller ones are more tender – it’s your choice. Boil the asparagus for just 1 1/2 minutes before refreshing in the ice water. Drain the asparagus on kitchen towel.

Heat a griddle pan with a little olive oil and griddle the asparagus for 1 minute on each side. Slice each spear into 4 pieces. Make a little dressing by mixing the mustard with a good drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt.

Assemble the salad by tossing the peas, broad beans and asparagus through the dressing. You may wish to add more olive oil. Add the pea shoots just at the end when ready to plate.

To finish

Once the tarte has stood for about 5 minutes after baking, turn out onto a plate. Turn the ricotta out of the muslin into a mixing bowl and adjust seasoning to taste. Toss the pea shoots through the salad, and arrange in a bowl layered with dots of ricotta. Finish with a few twists of fresh black pepper.