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The Caterer

Recipe of the week: rye crostata with peas and asparagus

26 March 2020
Recipe of the week: rye crostata with peas and asparagus

From The Vegetarian Silver Spoon (Phaidon, £35)

Serves 6-8

To enhance the flavour of the sesame seeds, toast them, covered, in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat until they start to crackle, then transfer to a plate and let cool.

For a vegan version of the recipe, replace the egg yolks with a heaped tablespoon of millet flakes.

  • 220g farro flour, plus more for sprinkling
  • 50g plain flour
  • 3tbs black sesame seeds
  • 1tbs brown flaxseeds (linseeds)
  • 60ml plus 3½tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, thinly sliced
  • 200g fresh peas, shelled
  • 200ml soy milk
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2½tbs sunflower seeds

In a food processor, combine the farro flour, plain flour, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, 3½ tablespoons of the olive oil and a pinch of salt and process the mixture until crumbly.

With the motor running, drizzle in 75ml of cold water and process until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C with a rack in the lower third.

In the meantime, in a heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat the remaining 60ml of oil over medium heat. Add the spring onions and asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the peas and a scant 100ml water and cook for 7-8 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle the vegetables with farro flour, drizzle in the soy milk and stir.

Reduce the heat to low and cook the sauce for 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the lemon zest. Remove from the heat and let the sauce cool. Add the egg yolks and stir to combine.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out two-thirds of the dough into a 2mm-thick sheet and transfer it to a 22cm round baking pan. Fill the crust with the vegetable mixture. Roll the remaining dough into a thin sheet and cut it into 1.5cm-wide strips. Arrange the strips over the filling to form an open lattice. Press the lattice strips against the bottom crust to seal, then trim the excess dough around the edges.

Brush the lattice with a little water and sprinkle with the sunflower seeds. Bake the tart in the lower third of the oven for about 40 minutes. Serve warm.

Photography: Simon Bajada

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