Time for the second post in my new series with Kym Grimshaw of wonderful food blog On The Plate. Each month Kym is sharing a delicious seasonal recipe, and her latest offering focuses on kale, which is at its very best at this time of year.
I’ll be honest: I’ve never been a fan of leafy vegetables such as kale. I know they’re good for me, so I try to hide them in smoothies and the like, but I rarely cook with them. Kym, though, was convinced I was missing out. She assured me that this wintry green is tasty and versatile and, with the help of onions and cheese, she set about changing my mind.
She was right. I cooked these tarts on a dark, chilly evening, and they proved perfect comfort food. I loved the combination of tangy Cheddar, sweet caramelised onions and a slight hint of bitterness from the kale, and the chestnuts in the pastry added a lovely, earthy nuttiness. They were also very simple to make: I served them as a weekday supper with buttery new potatoes and a salad, but I reckon they’d also work brilliantly as an easy starter for a dinner party.
Over to Kym for instructions…
Ingredients (makes 4 small tarts)
- 150g kale, leaves stripped from stems and chopped
- 3 small onions, finely sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 320g ready-rolled puff pastry sheet
- 12-15 cooked chestnuts, finely chopped (optional – stick with ordinary pastry if you prefer)
- 100g Cheddar cheese, grated
- 50g Parmesan cheese (optional)
- plain flour
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / fan 160°C / gas mark 4 and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- If using, sprinkle the chestnuts over one half of the rolled pastry sheet. Fold over the other half to cover and press down.
- Divide the half into 4 rectangles. On a floured surface roll each rectangle out into tart size, roughly a couple of mm thick. Transfer the pastry sheets to the lined baking tray.
- In a frying pan, heat around 2 tbsp of oil and add the onions. Once sizzling, turn the heat down and allow to cook over a moderately low heat for 15 minutes until they are starting to caramelise. Give them a stir every once in a while so they don’t burn.
- Add the chopped garlic to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the kale. Stir everything together and cook over a low heat for a further 5 minutes. Season well.
- Divide the kale mixture across your pastry squares, allowing a 1cm border around the edges. Top with the Cheddar cheese.
- Fold the edges of each tart over so that they overlap the filling slightly.
- Grate as much or as little Parmesan cheese over the tarts as you like, and drizzle with a little oil.
- Bake in the oven until the bases are golden and the edges are puffed up.
Kym will be back with another recipe next month, but in the meantime do head over to On The Plate for more food inspiration.
Photography by Kym Grimshaw