Nourishing meals for a cool change

As the cool weather sets in, food writer Libby Kimber has rounded up some nourishing meals to warm you from within.

Kale, herb and goats cheese tart

Image and text from The Feel-Good Family Food Plan by Dr Joanna McMillan with Melissa Clark, photography by Alan Benson. Murdoch Books, RRP $35.

Prep: 20 mins, plus chilling

nourishing meal of kale, herb and goats cheese tart

Cook: 50 mins

Serves: 6

Crust

  • 3/4 cup (95g) grated beetroot
  • 2/3 cup (70g) rolled oats
  • 1 cup (150g) wholemeal plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • Caramelised onion
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 thyme sprigs, leaves removed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Filling

  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (50g) chopped kale leaves
  • 1 cup (50g) baby spinach
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dill, roughly chopped
  • 100g soft goat’s cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

To make the crust, blitz the beetroot, oats, flour and salt in a food processor until it resembles coarse sand. Slowly add the oil and process until the dough just comes together into a ball. Scoop the dough out onto a floured work surface and bring it together with your hands to form a smooth log shape. Roll in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Carefully slice the dough lengthways into 5mm slices. Place the slices in and around the base and sides of a 24cm tart tin, just fitting them together. Press and smooth the pastry with the back of a spoon, patching and covering any holes. Ensure it is level the whole way around the tin. Place in the freezer for 15–20 minutes to rest. Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Bake the tart case for 20 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch, slightly dry and lighter in colour. Set aside to cool.

While the pastry is cooking, make the caramelised onion. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the red onion, thyme and salt, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and 1 tablespoon water and cook for 5–10 minutes or until the onion is sticky and darkened in colour. Set aside.

To make the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the kale and spinach for 2–3 minutes until wilted. Squeeze the lemon juice over the kale mixture and stir in the herbs. Spread the kale mixture over the tart base. Dollop the goat’s cheese on top and spread 1–2 tablespoons of the caramelised onion over the goat’s cheese. Whisk the eggs, milk and parmesan and season with the black pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the filling. Bake the tart for 25–30 minutes or until the middle is just set.

More recipes:

Sweet potato and spelt carbonara

Recipe courtesy of Australian Sweet Potatoes | australiansweetpotatoes.com.au

Serves: 1

nourishing meal of sweet potato carbonara
  • 100g spelt spaghetti
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 30g bacon or pancetta, diced
  • 150g sweet potato, pureed
  • 30g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 whole free range egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper, to season

Cook the spelt pasta according to the packet instructions, usually around 10 minutes, and reserve 2 tablespoons of the cooking water for your carbonara sauce.

In the meantime, place the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat, add the garlic and bacon/pancetta, and cook for about 5 minutes or until it’s crisp and golden, then set aside.

Put the sweet potato, parmesan, egg and half the pancetta/bacon in a bowl. When the pasta is ready, remove it from the water with tongs and place it into the bowl along with a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water. Using the tongs or a couple of forks, toss the pasta with all the ingredients until it’s well coated and all ingredients are well combined. The hot pasta will lightly cook the egg.

Top with remaining bacon/pancetta, extra parmesan and a generous amount of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

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