08 November 2007

Quick-quick. Slow-slow

The word tart seems to have applied colloquially to women in the mid nineteenth century, as a term of endearment, rather than abuse. The first to record it was John Hotten in his Dictionary of Modern Slang 1864:
Tart a term of approval applied by the London lower orders to a young woman for whom some affection is felt. The expression is not generally employed by the young men unless the female is in "her best".
Not until the 1880's do we find instances of its being applied to prostitutes. The original inspiration was presumably that tarts were thought of as sweet and toothsome.

How to be a tart and impress with minimum effort using Slow Food.

A staple in the Sticky household, this tarty little number surprised us with an appearance on a menu recently, described as a Galette. I was expecting a galette being a buckwheat pancake as favoured in Brittany, discounting the fact that it can also be used to describe a round flat cake, but not a tart. I have had a potato galette before, but that turned out to be Roesti. But what we had ordered emerged as a tart, just like the pictured one, which I make at home. Well, there's nothing like SOLE food when you're peckish, I suppose.

To pull this easy little beauty together, make squares of puff pastry if you have a nice cool work surface and cold freshly churned butter. Alternatively use a pre-made frozen pastry like Pampas (not Slow Food) or if you're in the mood to lash out, use what the chefs use - Careme or Kirk's Butter Puff (SOLE but not Slow).

Leaving a 15mm border, score an indentation in the top of the pastry squares and then thoroughly prick the centre square with a fork. Bake until golden.

Spread some homemade onion jam - slowly braised with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar or verjuice - into the centre of the pastry square. I sometimes add Grey Poupon mustard or thyme to my onion jam mix, dependent on my mood.

Scatter over some freshly picked torn parsley, basil and dill or thyme and lemon balm on top, grind pepper and crown the lot with a tiny sprinkle of Murray River Salt.

Top that with a layer of small home grown or fresh local tomatoes, that have been sliced in half and slow roasted for an hour at 170degrees, with a scattering of salt, fructose powder and extra virgin olive oil. Add sliced local Buffalo Mozzarella and drizzle over a small amount of robust or fruity boutique Extra Virgin Olive Oil and garnish with basil leaves.

Serve as a light lunch or entree.


  • Replace mozzarella by spreading the base with labneh or goats curd
  • Add mashed anchovies to your onion jam
  • Add some rocket
  • Add chargrilled eggplant or asparagus drizzled with pesto
  • Replace tomatoes with Schinken Speck and add baby spinach leaves
  • Use creme fraiche, Yarra Valley hot smoked trout, finely sliced red onion, capers, frisee and lemon infused oil
  • Drizzle with Pomegranate Molasses or a reduction of Balsamic vinegar
  • Coddled eggs, creme fraiche and Gravlax with dill
  • Poached eggs and bacon with a trickle of Hollandaise sauce
  • Smoked meats and beetroot with sour cream and dill
  • Use it as a nest for a seventies style prawn coctail garnished with salmon roe

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