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Article: Caramelised fennel tart with grapes, olives and chimichurri

Caramelised fennel tart with grapes, olives and chimichurri

Prep time 15min, cook time 40min.

Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 x 320g sheet puff pastry
  • 1 x large  fennel
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper for season
  • 1 tbsp chimichurri medium
  • 70g seedless grapes, quartered
  • 45g pitted green olives roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7, and line a circular oven tray (app 28cm) with baking paper. Dust a clean work surface with the flour. Gently roll out the pastry until you can easily cut out a 28cm circle, then trim and keep any excess for another use. Transfer the pastry circle to the lined tray and chill until needed.

Trim 1cm off the top of the fennel stalks, and save any fronds to garnish the tart later. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, thinly slice the rest of the stalks until you get to the bulb, then set the sliced stalks aside. Cut both bulbs in half lengthways, then cut each half into six (or four if the fennel is on the small side) roughly 3cm-wide wedges.

Put a tablespoon of oil in a medium pan set over a medium-high heat, then lay in the fennel wedges cut side down, sear for three minutes, then turn on to the other cut side and repeat until golden. Sprinkle over a quarter-teaspoon of salt, then transfer to a plate.

Add the sugar, butter, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper to the pan, and stir to combine. Gently heat for three minutes, stirring occasionally, until it starts to bubble and caramelise, then add the grapes and fennel tops. Spread the tbsp of chimichurri medium over the baking paper, then lay the pan seared fennel wedges which you top with the chopped olives and pour over the butter and grapes.

Lay the cold pastry on top of the pan and gently tuck in the edges so the filling is completely covered. Using a small, sharp knife, make a small cross on the top to allow the steam to escape, then bake for 25 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and deeply golden. Remove and leave to rest and cool for five minutes.

Put a 30cm-wide plate on the pan, making sure that there aren’t any gaps. Then with one hand on the plate and another on the cool pan handle (use a tea towel if it’s still hot), invert the pan to flip the tart on to the plate. Sprinkle the reserved fennel fronds on top, together with the flaked sea salt, and serve hot.

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