I am not a big celebrator of Valentine’s Day but one thing that I do like to do is cook a meal for everyone I love. Valentine’s Day is also about experimentation (no euphemism intended), so I decided to come up with a recipe that throws some different ingredients from Europe together. This chorizo and goat’s cheese puff pastry tart includes ingredients mostly from Italy and Spain, places I associate with romance and good food, with strong flavours. Served with Spanish potatoes, this well-rounded meal is perfect for sharing over a glass of wine (or several).
Puff pastry is a very versatile type of pastry to use in a dish. Whilst it is originally from Muslim Spain, way back before the European Spaniards went castanet-ing down to southern Spain, it is now more commonly known to be from France due to the popularity of French patisseries. Puff pastry is made up of many layers of dough separated by butter. Whilst baking in the oven the water between the layers turns into steam and puffs up each sheet of dough before evaporating in the oven, leaving a crispy, layered pastry shell ready for your savoury or sweet filling.
The most important thing to do with this recipe is use ingredients that the people eating this love. There is no strict recipe or amount needed for any ingredient. Eat it with your hands and mop up all the lovely juices with the pastry. Eat the flaky bits with the fluffy potatoes. Use it for leftovers the next day (just pop it in the oven), which will be extremely useful for when your date goes well…
Here’s a sumptuous chorizo and goat’s cheese tart served with Spanish potatoes. It serves 4, or 2 with leftovers for the next day.
1 pack of ready-rolled puff pastry
200g cured chorizo sausage
4 tbsp tomato purée
1/2 Spanish (white) onion, chopped
4 tbsp mixed herbs (thyme, oregano)
1 handful of baby spinach leaves
100g goat’s cheese
For the potatoes, heat your oven to 180°C. Mix oil, 1.5tbsp tomato purée, 1tsp paprika, and 1tsp oregano together and then toss 200g of potatoes thoroughly in it. Squash a clove of garlic in its skin with the flat of a knife and place on an aluminum-lined baking tray with the potatoes. Season well and drizzle with more olive oil. It is what those Spaniards love, after all. Roast for 40 minutes, tossing halfway through, until the potatoes are crispy and fluffy. Serve with the parsley scattered over.
While the potatoes are roasting, get started on the tart.
Turn your oven up to 200°C /gas 7. Unroll a pack of ready-rolled puff pastry (because actually making it takes forever and a day) and lay on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Lightly mark a 1cm border with a knife on all 4 sides of the pastry (to allow for the border to puff up) and then prick the base all over with a fork. Spread tomato purée on the base. Like a classy pizza, just better.
Slice the chorizo into medium-sized slices with a sharp knife. Spread the chopped onion, baby spinach, chorizo slices and herbs on top of the pastry (in that order), within the border. Crumble the goat’s cheese over and season with pepper. Drizzle olive oil over the filling and brush some of the oil over the border.
Put the tart in the oven for 15-20 minutes until it’s golden brown, and the pastry is crispy, and has risen on the outside.
Whip it out of the oven as your gorgeous date arrives, like a domestic goddess or potentially perfect house-husband, and get ready to catch them as they swoon at the delicious smell engulfing them. Sunaina Suri