Pea, mint and preserved lemon filo tart
A quick tart made in a frying pan with not much fuss but all the flavour. Most of the things in this tart I have on hand in the freezer or my cupboards – a couple of bunches of fresh herbs liven things up. For very little work this looks impressive too. A crumble of feta on top would not hurt, if that’s your thing. This tart is vegan, provided you use vegan filo, which happens to be the most common.
500g fresh or frozen peas
a bunch of spring onions, sliced
1 x 400g tin small white beans, drained
125g spinach, wilted
1 preserved lemon, flesh removed, rind finely chopped
a handful of green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
a good pinch of dried chilli flakes
a small bunch of mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped
a small bunch of parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
200g filo pastry
50g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Boil the peas (fresh or frozen) in well-salted water for 3–4 minutes, then drain and put to one side.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy, ovenproof, cast-iron frying pan about 24–26cm (you will use this for your tart) and sauté the spring onions with a good pinch of salt until soft.
In a bowl, mash the beans and peas roughly to make a chunky paste. Add the spinach, the preserved lemon, olives, chilli flakes, mint, parsley and spring onions, then season well and mix. Drizzle a little oil all round your frying pan.
Unwrap the sheets of filo and lay them one by one over your frying pan (which we will be using like a round roasting tray) leaving a little overlap round the edges (you’ll fold this in later). Drizzle with oil, then keep layering and drizzling with oil until you have a good, sturdy four-layer sheet layer – you may need to patch it together bit by bit if you have small sheets.
Drizzle the whole lot with a bit more olive oil, then use a pastry brush to persuade the oil all over the pastry. Spoon the filling into the middle, spread it evenly across the base and fold the excess filo back over the filling to form a wavy edge. Brush a little oil on top. Scatter over the roughly chopped pistachios. Put the pan over a medium heat and cook for 3–4 minutes to crisp up the pastry from the bottom.
Put in the bottom of the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Check halfway through and rotate the pan to ensure the pastry cooks evenly. Allow to cool then carefully transfer to a chopping board. Serve in generous slices with lemon-dressed salad leaves.