Have you got the whole family staying for Christmas and wondering what to cook for the other days that AREN’T Christmas Day and DON’T contain turkey leftovers? Jane Lovett, cook, food stylist and author, shares this delicious recipe sure to keep everyone happy.
Serves 5 – 6
Rustic, super-savoury, very easy and very delicious! Cheesy, thyme pastry filled with an oozing, creamy filling, and it’s vegetarian too!
- 350g (12oz) mixed mushrooms
- A good knob of butter
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 500g (1lb 2oz) fresh spinach
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- A little grated nutmeg
- 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
- 200g (7oz) carton of crème fraiche
- ½ of a 500g block of shortcrust pastry
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme, or dried
- 1 egg & a pinch of salt, lightly beaten (with a fork)
- 85g (3oz) Taleggio cheese, straight from the fridge
- Nigella seeds, fresh thyme sprigs, salad cress
- Slice any larger mushrooms into thick-ish slices, halve medium sized ones and leave smaller ones whole. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the mushrooms and plenty of seasoning and cook over a high heat until they are dry, sizzling again and beginning to brown around the edges. Add the garlic and nutmeg and cook for a further minute. Spread onto a plate to cool.
- Whilst the mushrooms are cooking wilt the spinach with a little salt and dribble of water in a dry saucepan, or use a microwave. Either way it will only take a few minutes. Drain, cool under cold water and squeeze out all the moisture in batches with your hands. Put into a bowl and mix with the mushrooms. Mix the mustard, crème frâiche and some seasoning together in the carton. Check the seasoning and incorporate into the spinach and mushroom mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and put in a flat baking sheet. Roll the pastry roughly into a circle, about 38 cm (15 in) across, and scatter with fresh thyme sprigs (if the stems are soft, or just the leaves if not), or dried thyme. Gently roll the thyme into the pastry. Transport onto a sheet of silicone or baking paper. Spoon the filling into the middle of the pastry aiming for a bit of height, leaving a 5cm (2 in) rim around the edges. Bring the margins of the pastry up over the outside edges of the filling, leaving most of the filling showing, pleating the edges over and over each other, forming a wavy effect – it’s meant to be rustic and needs a bit of height to hold the filling in whilst cooking – although any leakages are tasty additions to the rustic charm!
- Brush the pleated pastry rim with the egg wash. Thinly slice the cheese and dot over the filling and the pastry rims. Scatter with a few sprigs of thyme (or dried) and some nigella seeds. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, carefully slide the galette onto it and cook for 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling. Leave for a few minutes before transferring to a serving platter or board, and a few more minutes before eating – if it’s steaming hot it will taste of nothing!
Make to the end of Step 3 up to 24hrs in advance, cover and refrigerate. Bring back to room temperature an hour or so before cooking. Alternatively prepare Steps 1 and 2, up to 3 days in advance and store as above.
Hints & Tips:
Chard or kale are delicious alternatives to spinach. Chicken, bacon, ham, and smoked fish etc are good additions too.
We’re offering lucky School Notices members 20% off SIGNED copies of Jane’s new book The Get-Ahead Cook. Buy yours here!