This savoury tart is ideal for warm summer nights

A carrot and tarragon bake that is handy and easy to make

While in France a few years back we visited a market with incredible local produce that included huge bouquet-like bunches of carrots. All of the food stalls sold their own version of the delicious and simple grated carrot dressed in lemon juice – salade de carottes râpées. One stall had an amazing quiche packed full of carrots and seasoned with garam masala. It was really delicious and so simple. One of my favourite soup recipes is carrot and star anise. Sweet carrot works so well with anise, so I’ve added the anise-flavoured tarragon to my version of the tart.

I love having French tarragon in the garden. I’ve used it in many chicken dishes, and it is traditionally used to flavour Béarnaise sauce and vinegar. A little goes a long way in herb stuffing. It really stands its ground alongside thyme and parsley. It’s intense and pungent with a fiery aniseed background flavour that is perfect in chicken, fish and egg dishes.

Carrot is sweet and aromatic, and this is a beautiful light tart with a flaky, buttery pastry. If you avoid some dishes simply because they involve pastry, then keep this pastry recipe and use it for all of those savoury tarts. It’s so handy and easy to make. Next on my list for this pastry is to bake the pastry shell blind then top it with freshly made pesto and oven-roasted tomatoes and crumbled feta. Once warmed in the oven, the tomatoes are given a boost and become intense and sweet: pure summer encased in buttery pastry.

Savoury tarts are ideal for warm summer nights, served with a big simply dressed green salad and they keep really well for lunch the following day too. They can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature. So many times I’ve decided to make a tart for dinner, but I am dissuaded by the prospect of dealing with delicate pastry at the end of a long working day. If you roll and line the baking tin with the pastry the night before then all you need to do is whisk up the eggs and prepare the filling, then bake the tart while you rustle up a salad. As with all recipes, but especially those that have few ingredients, use high-quality free-range eggs and vegetables. Shops and markets are full of local carrots and this is a great way to enjoy them.


Recipe: Carrot and tarragon tart

Lilly’s kitchen tips

  1. Take out the food processor and whip up a few batches of this pastry. Flatten into discs and wrap well with cling film, then label and freeze.
  2. Remove the green leafy tops from carrots as soon as you buy them. They’ll take all the energy from the vegetable and will leave you with soft carrots.
  3. Use carrot tops as you would parsley. They are particularly good used in a spicy chimichurri sauce and are rich in vitamin C, K and potassium.