Get your greens first thing in the morning with this spinach, egg and za’atar breakfast tart – a great option for a weekend breakfast or brunch!
A the moment I’m a bit fixated on eggs baked in greens, thanks to Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for braised eggs with leek and za’atar. This recipe is very much based on that, taking that concept and turning it into a delicious tart.
I’ve used a mix of kale and spinach in this recipe, but you could just use one or the other. Or you could use whatever greens you’ve got in – anything that wilts down will work great. The raw amount will look like a lot if you measure it out, but it’ll cook down to a fraction of the size.
To be honest, I don’t normally measure the greens out and only paid attention to the amounts for the purpose of this recipe. A less precise measurement would be three to four hefty handfuls of greens if you can’t be bothered getting those scales out.
What to add on top
Once baked you have a few options for adding even more flavour. I love the earthy flavour za’atar adds, but if you don’t have za’atar mix in and can’t be bothered making your own I’d suggest opting for garlic yoghurt instead. I make mine using a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt, a little fresh garlic grated using a microplane, a dash of lemon juice and some salt.
You could also drizzle on some chilli oil or even a sauce like sriracha for some spice.
A tip for the eggs
You want to use fresh eggs for this tart. Older eggs will have a watery albumen (egg white) and while this is completely safe to eat it’s not ideal for these tarts. If the albumen is too loose then it’ll be much more likely to spill out and when it’s done that there’s nothing you can really do – I’ve been there. Don’t panic if this does happen, though, just quickly get it in the oven and while you might not have the most perfect looking tarts they’ll still taste great.
I also recommend using a small or medium egg over a large one. If it’s too big it might have trouble fitting in the well you make!
Spinach & Egg Breakfast Tart
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 100 g spinach
- 50 g kale
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 50 ml vegetable stock
- 1/2 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry divided into two
- 2 medium eggs as fresh as possible
- 20 g feta optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp za'atar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 190
- Add the butter to a frying pan over medium heat. Once melted add in the thinly sliced onion and cumin seeds and cook until onions are soft.
- Add in the kale and spinach in handfuls until everything's wilted down. Add the lemon juice, turn up the heat and pour in the vegetable stock, a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
- Score a 1cm border around each puff pastry rectangle. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and evenly divide the spinach mixture between the two and create as large a well in the middle of each as possible for the eggs.
- Crack one egg into each and, optionally, crumble some feta on top. It's important to use eggs that are as fresh as possible because if the white is too liquidy it'll easily spread out all over the baking tray. You can always crack the egg into a bowl first if you're uncertain.
- Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over each and place in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes or until the whites of the egg are set.
- Mix the za'atar and oil together and drizzle on top of the baked tarts and serve.
I’ve finally arrived at it, my signature mac and cheese; the version I’ll henceforth whip up whenever I get that specific craving for cheesy pasta. This is a recipe I’m pretty delighted with and I’m excited to share it here and make it again myself!
It’s a mac and cheese that’s a bit more interesting than the usual. The gochujang brings umami and spice, while the broccoli adds a bit of freshness and texture, which I always think is welcome in what can be a very rich dish. Serve it up with some spring onion and sesame seeds on top and enjoy.
Gochujang is a fermented red pepper paste that is absolutely fundamental in Korean cuisine. It’s spicy, sweet, salty, and a little bit funky. You’ll find it used in Korean dishes like kimchi-jjigae, bibimbap, and tteokbokki, but that’s just to name a few – it’s super versatile!
If I’m honest, I grew to love gochujang over time, it wasn’t instant for me. I think fermented foods can sometimes be a bit of an acquired taste for some, especially if you haven’t been exposed to many funky foods growing up. But these days there always has to be a tub of gochujang in my fridge and I find myself using it more and more often.
When using gochujang you usually want to be quite sparing, as it has a very intense flavour that packs a punch. Different brands can be more or less spicy, so be aware of that too. This recipe uses about 1tbsps of gochujang per person, which is tempered a bit by all the dairy but should still give you some decent spice. I first tested this with half the amount and the result was underwhelming, so be bold!
What pasta to use
So, yes, mac and cheese would suggest the use of macaroni, but I’m an advocate of rigatoni. The cheesy sauce gets right into those large holes and you really want a pasta that holds the maximum amount possible. Macaroni or elbow macaroni wouldn’t actually be very high in my rankings of preferred pasta – penne, farfalle, or a shell pasta would be better.
At the end of the day, though, you can use whatever pasta you have in and it’ll still taste great!
Baked mac & cheese?
I’ve reached the conclusion that I’m just not fussed about baked mac and cheese. If you want some melted/browned cheese on top by all means stick it under the grill for a minute, but do not bake this. This is a stovetop recipe, which I think produces both the tastiest and quickest results.
I like my mac and cheese really saucy and the pasta to still have a bit of bite. Both can be a little tricky to achieve if you bake it, which tends to dry it out and the pasta can easily end up overcooked. Plus, baked recipes take longer than making it on the stovetop. Then again, on the stove was always how my mum made it, and mac and cheese can often be quite personal, so perhaps that’s why I have a strong preference!
Gochujang and Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 400 ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1.5-2 tbsp gochujang
- 150 g mature cheddar grated
- 200 g rigatoni
- 1/2 head broccoli cut into florets
- pinch salt & pepper
- Boil a pot of heavily salted water and cook the rigatoni to package instructions. Add the broccoli to the same pot at the start and cook for a couple of minutes – remove with a slotted spoon and chop into small pieces. Set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in another pot on medium heat. Once melted add the flour and, stirring constantly, cook for a few minutes until the raw flour smell is gone and replaced with a more nutty one.
- Turn the heat down and start adding in the milk, a few splashes at a time. You want to very gradually add the milk to avoid lumps, so just add a little at a time and whisk to combine. I just use milk straight from the fridge – no need to pre-heat! The key to lump-free béchamel is adding the milk in little by little.
- Add the gochujang and a pinch of salt and pepper .f you're worried about spice add a tablespoon and a half of gochujang to begin with. Keep mixing until combined.
- One handful at a time, add in the grated cheddar. Stir to combine and once completely melted add in the next handful and repeat until all of the cheese is added.
- At this point you want to taste the sauce for seasoning and add more gochujang and/or cheese to taste.
- Once tasting perfect, add the chopped broccoli and drained rigatoni. Stir to combine until the pasta is completely coated in the glossy sauce.
- To serve, top with chopped spring onion (don't skip this!) and sesame seeds.
There really is no reason for a salad to be boring. I hate it when restaurants and cafes add a little sad-looking “side salad” to a plate consisting of undressed lettuce, tomato and cucumber that most people will leave untouched. It’s a complete waste of food.
This harissa-spiced bulgur salad certainly doesn’t fall into the boring category and is one I’ve made many, many times over the years. It has a bit of sentimental value for me, being a dish I’ve made to share with close friends outdoors on memorable sunny days. Yes, like last week’s recipe (Pea, Broccoli & Feta Tart) this is another for the picnic file, but I’ve made it just as often for a quick lunch at home!
Bulgur wheat: an ode to
This salad uses one of my favourite grains, bulgur wheat. If you’re not too familiar with it, bulgur wheat is a grain made from pre-cooked cracked wheat – often durum. It’s used in tabbouleh and throughout Middle Eastern cooking and is cheap to buy, quick to cook, and easily soaks up flavour. In this recipe I used a medium-grind bulgur, but you can get find coarser and finer grinds too.
Aside from salads, it has a whole load of other uses too. You can use it to substitute rice or couscous, bulk up stews with it, or try out a recipe like Nigella Lawson’s spiced bulgur wheat with roast vegetables, which I highly recommend. I’ve used it in a vegetarian chilli, which worked great, in a ragu, which was less great (still tasty, but the nuttiness of the bulgur wasn’t quite right for it), and to bulk out fritters.
It’s very much deserving of a permanent spot in your pantry and I’m sure to have more bulgur-based recipes here on Glasgow Sprout in the future!
The flavour balance
I’ve made many different iterations of this salad over the years and this version, I think, has a great balance of flavours. You’ve got some spice from the harissa, saltiness from the feta, a bit of sweetness from the butternut squash, and acidity from the pickled red onion. It all works together and the only thing I would say you could omit is the feta to make this vegan.
Don’t even think about not adding the picked red onion, though. The quantity I’ve recommended you make leaves you with plenty leftover to add to other meals – keeping a stock of these onions in the fridge is an idea you can thank me for later.
Harissa-spiced bulgur salad with squash and feta
Pickled red onion
- 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
- 100 ml apple cider vinegar
- 100 ml water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 100 g bulgur wheat
- 200 ml vegetable stock
- 2 tsp harissa paste
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 250 g butternut squash cubed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp harissa paste
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 50 g feta crumbled
- 50 grams spinach
- 20 g mixed seeds optional
- 10 g coriander optional
- First prepare the pickled red onion – for best results do this at least a couple of hours in advance or the day before. Add the sliced onions, coriander and mustard seeds to a container. Add the vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a pan on medium heat. Once the sugar and salt has dissolved remove from the heat and pour over the onions. Once cooled, seal and keep in the fridge.
- Now for the squash. First, pre-heat your oven to 220°C (200°C fan). In a medium-sized bowl mix together the olive oil, harissa paste and salt. Toss the cubed butternut squash in it until fully coated and evenly space out on a foil-lined baking tray. Cook for 20-25 mins until a knife easily pierces through.
- Add the bulgur wheat, stock and harissa paste to a pot on medium heat. Give everything a stir and cover, cooking until all the liquid has absorbed and you can fluff up with a fork. Add the lemon juice, mix and taste for seasoning – depending on your stock you may need to add salt. Add the bulgur to a large bowl and let cool for about five minutes.
- To the bowl with bulgur add the squash, feta, spinach, and about a quarter of the onions (the rest can be used for other meals and will keep in the fridge for several weeks). Mix everything together and serve, optionally topping with mixed seeds and/or coriander.
This is a very low-effort vegetable tart that really delivers on flavour. Once you’ve made a quick pea & chilli purée all you need to do is spread it on some pre-rolled puff pastry, scatter on the rest of the toppings and pop it in the oven. That’s it.
It’s just as good cold as it is straight out of the oven, which means it’s a great option for picnics or a packed lunch.
Perfect for picnics
Summer is approaching, the weather is warming up, and I’ve been thinking a lot about picnics. In fact, I’m finishing off writing this post just after having a picnic in the park with a friend!
My Kimchi & Cheddar Quiche was the first picnic-appropriate recipe I’ve posted here on Glasgow Sprout, and I’m thinking of doing a little series as I have a few more recipes I’d like to share. Like the quiche, this tart can be eaten hot or cold and while it might not seem all that sturdy straight out of the oven, once it cools it’ll hold firm and be easily transportable.
Pea & Chilli Purée
A few months ago I posted my simple recipe for Pea & Chilli Purée with the intention of following it up with this tart recipe! The purée has multiple uses, but as a base for a tart is probably my favourite. You can blend it until completely smooth or use a food processor and keep it a bit chunky depending on your preference. I find fresh peas as opposed to frozen work better for a chunky purée.
I’ve made this tart with a few different toppings – there are lots of options! Thinly sliced fresh tomato with some basil and feta was my go-to before trying this combination of broccoli, sun-dried tomato and feta. I think this combination works really well, but I’ll usually opt for whatever I have in.
Just make sure that whatever you top the tart with will fully cook within the time it takes for the pastry to cook. Alternatively, partially pre-roast the veg. I’ve used purple-sprouting broccoli here, and I haven’t tested it with standard broccoli, so I can’t confirm whether or not that would roast in time – but I would be tempted to pre-cook it a bit first were I using it.
Pea, Broccoli & Feta Tart
- 200 g Pea & Chilli Purée(half of the recipe)
- 1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
- 150 g broccolini or purple-sprouting broccoli
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil roughly chopped
- 50 g feta crumbled
- Preheat your oven to 220°C (220°C fan)
- Spread the purée evenly on top of the pastry, leaving about a 1cm border for the pastry to puff up.
- Evenly scatter the broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes and crumbled feta.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes – check around the 15 minute mark and take it as far as you feel comfortable with before the edges of the pastry get too dark in order to ensure the bottom is cooked.
- Cut into 6 or 8 portions and enjoy!