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30 March 2012

Courgette, Prosciutto & Blue Cheese Tart - dinner in a hurry!

This last Tuesday marked an important day in the calendar of our family, for this was the day that son & heir's first "proper" (aka "almost adult") school stage production got under way.

A much-shortened version of "We Will Rock You", it featured songs from the show (which is  based loosely around the songs of Queen) together with individual numbers from both groups and soloists.  Son & heir was appearing with his embryonic band "Black Ice" and would be playing his much loved bass guitar to "Another One Bites The Dust".

Assembled and ready to bake
Well, it all went swimmingly.  Nobody fell over and pulled the drapes down, the stage didn't collapse and no emergency services were required - which makes it a resounding success, in my book.  In fact, both hubby and I enjoyed ourselves enormously throughout the evening.

However, fitting the conundrum of eating into the evening was a little tricky.  For son & heir it was easy, as we took him a packed sandwich supper when we delivered his costume to school at 3pm.  For us, well, we had to condense our early evening into three hours or so - which wasn't that difficult but meant that the catering had to be of the simple kind.

Out of the oven and looking satisfyingly delicious
The weather having been unseasonably warm, my mind immediately turned to salad, but I felt that as we were going to be out in the big wide world (also known as the school hall), perhaps we needed something hot to eat before we left.  Yes, I was channelling Mum-ness.  I admit it. 

Anyway, that Mum-ness resulted in a quite lovely (and supremely quick to create and bake) tart.

Take a sheet of ready made, ready rolled puff pastry.  Draw a line around the inside of it, then cover the area inside of the line with ribbons of finely sliced (I used a veggie peeler) courgette that have been tossed in extra virgin olive oil and seasoning.  Next, lay on rumpled and torn pieces of Prosciutto bacon, then into the hollows and hills, sprinkle cubes of a soft, mild blue cheese.  Admire, then bake.

Served with some shop-bought pre-prepared salads, for speed - just perfect.

The end result was that the courgette ribbons cooked beautifully, all were soft and tender.  The Prosciutto crisped up perfectly in the oven and the soft creamy blue cheese melted and ran in delicious rivers all around the other ingredients.  Lush.

The tart really was completely flipping gorgeous - as indeed it was the following day, when we had the remainder for lunch.

COURGETTE, PROSCIUTTO & BLUE CHEESE TART  (Serves 4)

Ingredients :

1 sheet of ready made, ready rolled puff pastry
1 large courgette
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
75g pack of Prosciutto
150g French creamy blue cheese.

Method :

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 200degF/400degC/Gas6.

2.  Lay the pastry out onto a flat baking sheet and lightly score a line approx 1" in from the edge, all the way around the pastry.  This marks the crust of the tart.

3.  Take the courgette and cut off both ends.  Then, using a vegetable peeler, carefully peel away long thin ribbons of courgette and place them into a bowl.

4.  Sprinkle a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper over the courgette and mix to combine.

5.  Take the strips and arrange them roughly onto the pastry, making sure they aren't all laying down flat and are inside the line for the pastry crust.

6.  Next tear pieces of Prosciutto and lay them roughly on top of the courgette.

7.  Trim off the rind of the blue cheese (if it has one!) and cut into small dice.  Sprinkle these across the surface of the tart.

8.  Sprinkle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil across the tart surface.

9.  Place into the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Serve with salad. 

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