8 July 2013

* Smoked Sausage, Tomato and Watercress Tart

Smoked Sausage, Tomato and Watercress Tart Recipe
It's actually a Smoked Sausage, Sun Dried Tomato and Watercress Tart in a Parmesan Polenta Pastry (try saying that once, without tripping up, when completely sober.... now have a glass of wine... and try again... much easier, wasn't it)... which is waaaaay too heavy a title to put on a recipe. It's almost a pedigree, and I'm hardly entering it into Crufts.

Food gets a bit *samey* sometimes, in this house. I don't always have the time or the inclination to cook much more than something that goes in a pot and will sit happily with rice or pasta... but occasionally, my need to use food up and make space in my fridge for another, fresher, culinary rainbow of vegetables - gives me enough incentive to become a bit more inventive, if not adventurous.

It was watercress that needed using up this time. I had been inspired to buy it, by a recent trip to The Finnygook Inn, for dinner. They served it with steak. I liked it enough that I bought a bag. That's how most stuff gets into the fridge. I have a moment of "oooooooh... what a nice idea, I think I can make *this* a part of my everyday diet"... and I really can't. There's a LOT of watercress in one bag. Enough to go with several steak servings, not just one or two.

I didn't buy steak. I only like steak, in any form, when someone else has cooked it. This is a constant disappointment to Neil.

Neil would eat shoe leather if I put it on his plate and told him it was steak. This is most probably because when I have cooked steak, it has resembled shoe leather... I'm really inspiring you with confidence in my cooking right about now, aren't I.

Back to my Tart... it worked a million times better than I had imagined it would. It really was one of those surprising successes (I am always surprised when I have a success). I experimented with the pastry and if I only ever make one pastry again, it'll be this one. Using up the watercress in the tart was also a success...

... Now all I have to do is work out what the hell I'm going to do with a ton of Marshmallow Fluff.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Smoked Sausage, Tomato and Watercress Tart Recipe

Serves 6 - 8

Prep time - 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooking time - 50 minutes
Total time - 2 hours

You will need
A 28cm flan case/tart tin (preferably with a removable bottom)

200g plain flour
50g fine polenta - plus extra for dusting
140g cold butter - cut into small pieces
50g parmesan - finely grated
1 whole egg
2 tbsps water
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
300ml double cream
Handful of watercress - picked over and longer stalks removed
100g smoked sausage - sliced
6 sundried tomatoes (in oil) - patted dry and sliced

  • Place the flour, polenta, butter and a pinch of salt into a food processor and whizz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. 
  • Add the Parmesan and egg, then pulse through the 2 tbsp cold water until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap in cling film, and chill in fridge for 30 mins.
  • Dust your work surface with polenta and roll out the pastry - not to thick and not too thin - about 5mm.
  • Line the tart tin with the pastry and trim the overhang, but not too far as it will shrink with cooking.
  • Chill for another 30 mins.
  • Heat oven to 390/200c/170c fan/gas 6. 
  • Place a baking sheet in the oven to warm up.
  • Line the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. 
  • Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15 mins. 
  • Remove the beans and parchment and bake for another 5 mins or until the pastry is golden.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool a little - turn the oven temperature down to 350f/180c/155 fan/gas 4.
  • Arrange the watercress, sausage and tomatoes in the pastry case, scatter over the cheese.
  • Whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks and cream and gently pour into the pastry case, careful not to go over the edges.
  • Cook for about 30 minutes until the egg has just set.
  • Serve with salad and crusty bread and a huuuuuge dollop of mayonnaise. Because I said so.

Smoked Sausage, Tomato and Watercress Tart Recipe

 Lightly adapted from Good Food Magazine


  1. Whoa..now this is something I wouldn't mind making all the time. Looks absolutely yummy, Abbe. I'm pretty sure I'll be having this with some Tabasco sauce.... .. *drool*

    1. I've just made more of the pastry, Sharon - no idea what I'm going to do with it though!!! ;-)

  2. abbee you make me laugh so hard..steak like shoe leather :)))
    I love savory tarts this one does looks so yummy.. esp.. the last pic, that slice is for me:)

    1. We stuffed our faces with this one, Meena - not a pice of shoe leather in sight ;-)

  3. Hi Abbe,

    Nice to know that this Parmesan polenta pastry is a good savoury pastry to use. True enough if I find a recipe that is good, I will keep it and use it always :D


    1. It really was lovely, Zoe - and much easier to handle than ordinary shortcrust because it was much less delicate. It really is nice to find something that works :o)

  4. Abbe, this looks delicious! I always see watercress at the market but have never had a reason to buy it before. I think you just gave me one. And what a great idea to use polenta in the pastry.

    1. Thanks, Kate! If you come up with any useful ways to use up the rest of a bag of watercress, you'll have to let me know ;-)

  5. Pastry was great and sooo easy to work with :-) It was the first time I have ever put an egg in pastry and the first time I have made it in the food processor (I am afraid of the FP, first time I washed it, I ended up at the clinic with 3 stitched in my thumb), but would never make by hand again now! xx

    1. I'm glad it worked for you, too! What did you use for a filling, I know you're vegetarian? I have to use a food processor to make pastry because my hands are permanently warm, which is ideal if you've got a cold nose or have dropped something down your bra (usually food), but useless for making pastry. Can't exactly pop them in the freezer for half an hour before needing them! However, I was banned from using the slicer attachment on at least three occasions - by Neil - because he didn't like kissing my bloody boo boo better :/ xx

  6. wasn't ignoring you, been on hols. I used a sweet italian veggie sausage, mushrooms and sun dried toms. Can't get watercress here, the closest in taste is arugula and it only comes in 500g boxes..

    This pastry would make great cheese twists or roll it a bit thinner and make dipping chips!

    Good to know you don't waste food on the floor and save it in your bra ;) xx

    1. Thankyou my lovely, didn't think you were ignoring me for a minute ;-) IT'S JUST NOT POSSIBLE!!!


Thanks for dropping in to read my recipes (and ramblings). I love it when you let me know what you think - so please leave a comment and I promise to take the time to reply!

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