There is nothing more satisfying than using up some fridge based odds and ends and then having the resulting effort taste even better than you could have hoped for. To be honest, using up leftovers can sometimes feel as bit hit and miss – for every triumph, there can be lots of what was I thinking? disasters. No wonder so many people are risk adverse to leftovers and often throw out perfectly good food rather than reheat it or re-use it.
This was the result of chucking in some cottage cheese (the result of a too-brief clean eating fad, when my housemate was reminded how bland cottage cheese can taste), some eggs, two red capsicum and some week-old mushrooms that were in danger of shrivelling up. The result was a rich, more-ish, flavourful meal, a great addition for lunches and it guaranteed everything got used up in those crucial days before the next big shop.
You can’t ask for better than that.
Makes a 22cm tart
1 quantity shortcrust pastry, chilled; 2 red capsicum; 200g button or swiss brown mushrooms; 250g (one small tub) cottage cheese or ricotta; ½ cup sour cream; 4 eggs; salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Place capsicums in a small roasting dish, drizzle with a little olive oil and roast for 40 minutes until the skins are blackened. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 180 °C.
Place whole capsicums in a plastic bag and twist the bag shut tightly and let the capsicum steam for ten minutes. When cool enough to handle, rub or peel the blackened skins off. Remove seeds and slice the capsicum into thin strips. Set aside.
Roll out the chilled pastry on a floured bench top to about 5mm thick and line a 22cm loose bottomed tart or quiche tin. Prick the base with a fork and line with a sheet of baking paper and some dried rice or dried lentils. Blind bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is crisp and starting to colour.
Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms thinly and set aside.
In a bowl, combine cheese, sour cream, eggs and salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
When the pastry is crisp, remove paper and rice and scatter capsicum strips and mushroom slices evenly over the base. Pour the cheese and egg mixture over the vegetables and return the tart to the oven. Cook for a further 25 minutes until the egg mixture is set and golden brown.
Cool in the tin and eat either warm or at room temperature.
$9.85 for a 22cm tart