Monday, 12 October 2009

Carrot and arugula tart

Rabbits love carrots. Everybody knows that.
But can you imagine that cats like carrots too? But they really do!
I planned to make a carrot tart and just started to peel carrots... suddenly my kitten ran into the kitchen and jumped on to the chair watching the peelings fall down.

Why a carrot tart?
Some time ago one of my favourite dishes was grated carrots, cooked with some olive oil, salt and spices. Nothing special but I really love this sweet and spicy carrot taste.

Suddenly the idea of the tart appeared in my mind.
Some crust pastry, of cause, in which I added some sunflower seeds - they give the good fit to the carrots. And some dried lemon peel - it will go well with spices and will add some freshness.

The pastry goes to the fridge and I turn back to the carrots - I'll cut it into thin slices.
The kitten keeps on watching me and I take a clear bowl to let him watch the carrot slices jumping down from the grater.

When the pastry is cool enough I put it into the baking shape, add some mustard and carrot slices.

Soon the tart is ready. But well... I guess something fails...
I take some arugula leaves and put them on the tart.

Carrot and arugula tart

For the pastry*:

150 g all-purpose flour
75 g butter
50 g
sunflower seeds
1 egg
1 tsp dried lemon peel

* You may have some leftovers

For the filling:

3 carrots, cut into thin slices
1 tbsp grainy mustard
2-3 tbsp olive oil
a bunch of arugula
salt, pepper

In a large bowl, place the flour with the salt and sunflower seeds. Make a hole in the middle and break the egg, then add the butter. Mix until just homogeneous, form a ball and place in the fridge (covered with foil) for 30 minutes min. until firmer.
2. Preheat your oven at 390 F. Roll the dough and garnish 25*10 cm baking shape (I also use waxed paper).
3. Garnish the tart with some mustard and add carrot slices. Add some olive oil, salt and pepper.
Cook in the oven for about 20 to 25 min. Serve cold or lukewarm tawith fresh arugula leaves.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Autumn apple cookies

This year there are too many apples everywhere. My colleagues bring apples to our office, my friends pick apples in their gardens and share them with us. The majestic apple flavour mixes up with the fallen leaves smell and reminds us that autumn is coming.
In my mind the apple flavour is always associated with autumn. Farmers' markets which offer all sorts of apples, an apple garden near my friend's country house and surely apple pies!

One day when I was sitting in the office, drinking my green tea and trying to wake up two of my colleagues came to me with a smile.

- What if we bring some apples to you? Can you bake something with them, please?

Surely! I like apple pastry and I just love to bake!

Next day I saw a box full of apples in our office. Some of my colleagues wanted to make fun and put a list of paper near it. "Exchange! Take an apple and put some bread, cheese or an egg inside" - that what was written on it;)

What I was going to bake? Apple cookies, undoubtedly!
Firstly, the reciepe is very simple. Secondly, I can easiely bring them to the office.
And finaly, it is just veeeeery tasty!

These cookies are very soft and even if you are not fond of cookies, you will like them.
Sweet pastry goes well with sourish apples, and spices - I always add a lot of cinnamon and ground nutmeg - make a wonderful taste and flavour!

I put some more ingredients this time, as I planned to take some cookies to the office and also wanted to give Y. some. That was the good idea - when the cookies were ready, we ate at least third of them!

Apple cookies

For 25 pieces:

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
1 egg
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 apples, cut into small pieces

1. Preheat the oven at 390 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl mix together flour, spices, salt and baking powder. Set aisde.
3. In another bowl whisk together butter and sugar. Mix well, then add an egg.
4. Add the flour mixture, stiring until just homogeneous.
5. Add the apple pieces.
6. Place 1 tsp of dough for each cookie onto the baking sheet, making sure to keep them about 2 inches apart.
7. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes. Let them cool a little on racks or eat warm.