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Michel Roux's Croustades Of Seasonal Vegetables

From Michel Roux Pastry, these simple pastries are full of flavour and healthy green vegetables — perfect for a light and healthy lunch. Vary the vegetables according to the season.

Yield: 
4 servings
Ingredients: 

Pâte Brisée
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened
1 tsp fine salt
Pinch of superfine sugar
1 medium egg
1 tbsp cold milk

Croustades Of Seasonal Vegetables
9 oz. pâte brisée (see above)
24 small asparagus spears or samphire sprigs
10 oz. podded fresh young fava beans
6-1/2 tbsp butter
9 oz. podded fresh young peas
1 shallot, about 3 oz., finely chopped
1/3 cup medium dry white wine
24 baby spinach leaves

Instructions: 

Pâte Brisée

Step 1: Heap the flour on a counter and make a well. Put in the butter, salt, sugar, and egg. Using your fingertips, mix and cream these ingredients together.

Step 2: Little by little, draw in the flour, working the dough delicately until it has a grainy texture.

Step 3: Add the milk and incorporate gently with your fingertips until the dough begins to hold together.

Step 4: Using the palm of your hand, work the dough by pushing it away from you 4 or 5 times until smooth. Roll it into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill until ready to use. Pâte brisée will keep perfectly in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Makes about 1 lb. (450 g)

Croustades Of Seasonal Vegetables

Step 1: Roll out the dough to a 1/16-1/8" thickness. Using a 6-1/4" cutter or plate as a guide, cut out 4 circles. Use these to line 4 individual loose-bottom tart pans, 4" in diameter and 1-1/4" deep (see recipe above). Let rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prick the pastry shell bases. Bake the shells "blind": Line the tart shells with baking parchment or waxed paper and fill with a layer of pie weights (ceramic beans or dried beans) to weigh the dough down and prevent it from rising unevenly. Bake "blind" in the oven at 350ºF for 10 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and bake for another 5 minutes. Unmold onto a wire rack and let cool. Lower the oven setting to 250ºF.

Step 3: Blanch the asparagus or samphire for 1 minute, refresh in cold water, drain, and set aside. Slip the fava beans out of their skins and put them into a pan with 2 tbsp water and 2 tbsp butter. Cover and cook very gently for 1 minute. Add the peas and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but still have some bite.Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon.

Step 4: Add the shallot to the cooking juices in the pan, then pour in the wine and let bubble to reduce by two-thirds.Whisk in the rest of the butter, a small piece at a time, then add the spinach and blanched asparagus or samphire and keep warm.

Step 5: Warm the croustades in the low oven for 2 minutes. Add the peas and fava beans to the vegetables in the pan and heat gently for 2 minutes, stirring delicately. Divide the vegetables and cooking juices between the croustades and serve on warm plates.

Reprinted with permission from Michel Roux's Michel Roux Pastry (2008 Whitecap Books).

Author: 

Michel Roux

Photographer: 

Martin Brigdale

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