Tuesday 19 April 2011

Garlic best!

I adore garlic

Yotam Ottolenghi is one of my favourite chefs. His recipes are wholesome, creative, full of Middle Eastern flavours and, most of them, easy to make. That’s why whenever I am stuck, I go to his books or to the column he writes for The Guardian  for ideas. This week, as Nina has been on her school break, I haven’t had much time to spend in the kitchen. I had some garlic bulbs left over from the supper club so I decided to make Ottolenghi’s Caramelized Garlic Tart.

I am sorry people for being a bit slack on my updates but I promise that things are back to a normal routine.

For now, enjoy the tart. It’s soooo delish!

The ingredients
My tasty garlic tart!
Caramelized Garlic Tart by Yotam Ottolenghi
Serves 8

This tart is a great choice for a light lunch, brunch, dinner parties… anything! It’s full of protein and flavour.


375g all-butter puff pastry
3 medium heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
220ml water
¾ tbsp fine organic unrefined caster sugar (or rapadura)
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tsp chopped thyme, plus a few whole sprigs to finish
120g soft, creamy goat’s cheese
120g hard, mature goat’s cheese
2 free-range eggs
100ml organic double cream
100ml organic crème fraîche
salt and black pepper


Have ready a shallow, loose-bottomed, 28cm fluted tart tin. Roll out the puff pastry into a circle that will line the bottom and sides of the tin, plus a little extra. Line the tin with the pastry. Place a large circle of greaseproof paper on the bottom and fill up with baking beans. Leave to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4. Place the tart case in the oven and bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, then bake for a further 5-10 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Set aside. Leave the oven on.
While the tart case is baking, make the caramelized garlic. Put the cloves in a small saucepan and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a simmer and blanch for 3 minutes, then drain well.

Dry the saucepan, return the cloves to it and add the olive oil. Fry the garlic cloves on a high heat for 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and water and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the sugar, rosemary, chopped thyme and ¼ teaspoon salt. Continue simmering on a medium flame for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves are coated in a dark caramel syrup. Set aside.
To assemble the tart, break both types of goat's cheese into pieces and scatter in the pastry case. Spoon the garlic cloves and syrup evenly over the cheese.

In a jug whisk together the eggs, creams, ½ teaspoon salt and some black pepper. Pour this custard over the tart filling to fill the gaps, making sure that you can still see the garlic and cheese over the surface.

Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and place the tart inside. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the tart filling has set and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little.

Then take out of tin, trim the pastry edge if needed, lay a few sprigs of thyme on top and serve warm (it reheats well!) with a crisp salad.

Some of the main ingredients and their health benefits

Garlic (Allium sativum): is one of nature’s first known medicines. It helps to prevent the common cold due to its antiviral properties, It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and detoxifies the body from heavy metals. It is packed with antioxidants and contains antibacterial properties.

Egg is a fantastic and inexpensive source of protein. It contains Lecithin which helps the body to break down fat and cholesterol. Lecithin is also a source of the B vitamin-like, Choline which is necessary for the brain development, at pregnancy, and also a necessary nutrient in preventing fatty liver (Choline is an important neurotransmitter involved in many functions including memory and muscle control). It contains also Biotin, another B vitamin-like, which is very important for the digestion of fat and protein and essential for the health of hair, skin and nails.
Egg also contains an antioxidant called Glutathione which prevents the formation of free radicals. It is very rich in Omega-3 fats, which prevents diabetes, obesity and depression. Contains vitamin A and E, Folic acid and Lutein (an antioxidant in the carotenoid family that helps keep the eyes healthy and safe from oxidative stress).

Till next week!

1 comment

  1. What a good idea, Margot!!! It´s perfect for today...thanks for that great suggestion!


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