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Mushroom, aubergine and cottage cheese tarts (V)

mushrooms 04

A vegetarian recipe that seems to be acceptable to even the most hardened carnivore. You could also make the tarts half the size for a delicious starter to feed eight.


Serves 4 as a light main course


150g puff pastry

1 medium aubergine

200g cottage cheese

4 spring onions

4 cloves garlic

100g mushrooms

olive oil

a bunch of flat leaf parsley

a bunch of rocket


Get an overhead grill hot. Cut the aubergine into rounds about 1cm thick, brush with olive and grill, about 4 minutes each side, until browned and soft. Leave to cool, and start the oven heating at 200°C.


Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, chop the garlic and mushrooms roughly and fry over a medium heat. The mushrooms will soak up the oil, so you may need to add a little more if it looks dry. Turn off the hob and tip the mushrooms and garlic into a mixing bowl when they are just starting to soften and colour.


Chop the spring onions, whites and the best of the greens, into small rounds. Chop the grilled aubergines into large dice. Add the onions, aubergines and cottage cheese to the mushrooms, season and mix well.


Grease or line a baking tray. Roll out the pastry thinly and divide into 4 pieces. (You will end up with pieces of about 15-20cm2.) Lay the pastry pieces on the baking sheet, making sure they don't overlap or touch at the edges. Score them with a sharp knife about 1.5 cm from the edges. Pile the aubergine mixture in the middle of each piece of pastry and spread out until it almost reaches the score lines.


Brush the edges of the pastry with a little olive oil or melted butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pastry edges have puffed nicely and browned.


Whilst the tarts are cooking, roughly chop the parsley and rocket. Scatter the chopped herbs over the cooked tarts and serve immediately, hot from the oven.

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