Sunday, June 28, 2015

CCC ~ Beet Greens and Ricotta Tart - New Potato Salad Tartare - Halloumi, New Potato and Tomato Kebabs

New Potato Salad “Tartare"

June is almost over…and what a month it has been! We have been incredibly busy this year. Starting with a three day trip to NYC, a four day trip to Long Island for our annual grandkids field day visit, a bunch of birthdays, graduations, and a lovely Fathers Day picnic at a cousins house. And it hasn’t ended yet! This week, I will reopen Camp Grandma and Grandpa. This has all happened as I was trying to make a case, to my hubby, why we should sell and move from the country to the suburbs. My argument…”life is too quiet out here in the country".
So to bring this very busy month of June to a close…quite deliciously, here’s my post for the Cottage Cooking Club, a group cooking its way through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg cookbook. My friend Andrea, of The Kitchen Lioness, is the creator of this talented group. I have not been very good at keeping up with the other bloggers. Hopefully that will change with my renewed commitment. 
From the long list of wonderful veggie choices…I decided to make three. 
First was the New Potato Salad “Tartare”. This salad was a big hit with my husband, who doesn’t usually eat or like potato salad. I loved the dressing, which consisted of Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil. The best part of this salad was the soft egg yolks; it gave this salad such a creamy taste. I plan on making this potato salad my “go to” for the summer season. 

The new potato salad of choice in my house

My next choice was for the Beet Greens and Ricotta Tart. I loved this tart!  Even though I thought it luscious…Mr. Bill, not so much.  I will be hosting a luncheon for my lady friends in the next few weeks, and this will be a perfect addition to the menu! I think it may even get rave reviews. The simplicity of this attractive tart, and very appealing flavor makes it a winner! 

Beet Greens and Ricotta Tart
A wonderfully delicious, custardy tart…loved this one!

Lastly, I made the Halloumi, New Potato and Tomato Kebabs. I added mushrooms to mine. These were quite good. The Halloumi cheese, with its slightly salty taste, and its softened, melty texture, was mouthwatering. The Marinade consisted of olive oil, fresh thyme, fresh mint, honey and a pinch of dried chili flakes. You can serve these with Pita bread, along with some plain yogurt, or hummus.These were sensational…and will be making their way to my table quite often this summer. 

Halloumi, NewPotato, and Tomato Kebabs…with mushrooms

These recipes can be found in River Cottage Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I’ve shared two of them below. Enjoy! 

New Potato Salad “Tartare” 
Adapted from River Cottage Veg 

2 lbs. small new or waxy Potatoes
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
2 pounds small red potatoes
2 tablespoons brine-cured capers, rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped cornichons (gherkins)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
¼ cup finely chopped fresh leaf parsley
¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and use a slotted spoon to slowly lower the eggs, one at a time, into the water. Simmer for 7 minutes, turn off the heat, and use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked eggs to the ice water. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, gently roll them on a counter to crack the shell, then peel it away (be careful, as the egg yolks are still semi-soft in the center).
2. Make the potatoes: Fill a medium saucepan with water and 2 tablespoons of the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes. Simmer until a paring knife easily slips into the largest one, 9 to 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Halve the still-warm potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl.
3. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, mustard, the salt and black pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil a few drops at a time until the vinaigrette is creamy and emulsified.
4. Pour the vinaigrette over the still-warm potatoes, using a wooden spoon to combine, and set the mixture aside to cool completely, about 30 mintues. Once the potatoes have cooled to room temperature, add the capers, cornichons, chives, parsley, dill, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and the ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Quarter the eggs and add them to the dressed potatoes. Serve the salad at room temperature. Calories per Serving: 210; Sodium: 980mg; Total Carbohydrate: 26g; Fiber: 3g; Protein: 6g; Fat: 10g 

Beet Greens and Ricotta Tart
from River Cottage Veg

• 2 cups/ 250g plain flour
• A pinch of sea salt
• ½ cup plus 1 Tablespoon/ 125g chilled unsalted butter,
• cut into small cubes
• About 5 Tablespoons/ 75ml cold milk

• Tops from a bunch of beetroot or a bunch of ruby or rainbow chard (about 300g in all)
• 1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
• 1 large onion, sliced
• A handful of thyme sprigs, leaves only, chopped
• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
• 100g ricotta salata, finely crumbled
• 2 large eggs, plus 2 extra egg yolks
• 1 cup/ 200ml double cream
• 1cup/ 200ml whole milk
• Sea salt and freshly ground
• black pepper
Make the pastry, rest, then use to line a 9 inch tart pan and bake blind. 
To make the filling, chop the stalks from the beet tops or chard and shred the leaves.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion with the thyme and sweat gently for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and chopped beet or chard stalks. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until the stalks are tender.
Add the shredded leaves and cook for another 5 minutes or so until the leaves have wilted right down. Season well with salt and pepper.  Spread the leafy mixture on the baked crust. Scatter the crumbled ricotta over the top. Lightly beat the eggs, egg yolks, cream and milk together in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Carefully pour this mixture over the tart filling. Bake the tart at 350° for about 35 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm or cold.


  1. Wow, Kathy, all these recipes look good and so perfect for summer veggies. I am going to try them
    very soon, thanks for the recipes.

  2. It's nice to see you here again, Kathy. Your photos are beautiful and your dishes look so good, I want to make them all again right away. I particularly liked the potato salad and have also decided that this would be my "go-to" recipe, and the mushrooms on your halloumi kebabs sound like the perfect addition. I'm looking forward to cooking again with you next month.

  3. Lovely photos and love that tart!

  4. Gorgeous! Both salad and the tart...simply fantastic!

  5. You know I have some huge gaps in my food repertoire and potato salad is of them. Can you believe I've never made a successful one! As soon as the CSA potatoes come in, this is on my list! Three recipes is certainly ambitious--love the look of the square tart and how novel to include cheese on a kabob!

  6. Hi Kathy, so great to see you, along with your beautiful photographs and collection of dishes from the month. I too made the tart using chard from my garden, I am smitten with your preparation in a square tart pan which looks sensational and fits perfect for a ladies luncheon, it is a lovely tart, I think. I must try both the potato salad and halloumi kebabs, and in particular it seems the kebabs have quite a unique flavor reading the reviews, I love your addition of mushrooms as well. Seems you are in quite a place of being happily busy wishing you a beautiful month ahead as well.

  7. Great Post. And, I got quite a laugh out of your complaint about 'Life being too quiet.' Be careful what you wish for. Although I do understand your "down-sizing" needs, there are still those 600 cookbooks to be moved. That, alone, should give you pause. Like you, Kathy I also am going to use Hugh's potato salad recipe for my "go-to" this summer. I really thought it was delicious and the kids at the front desk who shared it with me, liked it also. They are all healthy eaters, as you would suspect, and liked the no-mayo thing. So many of you CCC buddies have made the tart - no complaints from anyone - so guess I will have to try it. You use ricotta more than I do but this looks tasty. Love the square tart pan. I am quite sure your luncheon ladies look forward to dining at your house. I hadn't heard of Halloumi until two years ago and really, really enjoyed it. I do love my salt. Unfortunately, I cannot have a grill here at The Gant so didn't try that one. It probably would work fine with my grill pan so may try that. As always, Kathy, your pictures are quite wonderful. Have a great week with your grandchildren. My advice, buy a box or two of No-Doz. I think they still sell that at your local truck stops! XOX

  8. Kathy, I love your square tart pan. So much fun! As always, your photos are beautiful and your version of the potato salad with the red potatoes contrasting with the yellow yolks and the green pickled things and herbs is extra-awesome. It makes me wish I liked those dang hard-boiled eggs. I also loved your opening paragraph about being so busy just as trying to convince your husband to move. Isn't it always like that--just when you're trying to make a case to your spouse it seems like everything conspires to demonstrate the opposite? Tee hee!

  9. All these look amazing Kathy!!!
    Love the ricotta tart!

  10. These all look perfect, Kathy... but the greens and ricotta tart is particularly appealing! Coincidence would have it, I am making a variation on one of Hugh's recipes tonight in Salzburg, Austria! I will let you know how it comes our (probably in a blog post!)

    1. Salzburg, Austria? How wonderful! I’m sure it will be delectable. Enjoy your trip.

  11. Dear Kathy, how marvelous that you area participating in the CCC again despite having such a very busy month - maybe we should switch households, I keep saying that I would love to move to the country because I want it more quiet around me...then you could move into our city house..just joking, of course but Mary is right about your cookbook collection.
    Onto your lovely recipes - the tart looks fantastic and so does your potato salad and the kebabs (which I believe are extremely versatile) - mushrooms are always a good choice for grilling, brings out their earthy flavors.
    Makes me more than happy tp know you enjoyed those recipes and I believe all of us who made the potato salad will be making it all summer long.
    Have a great time with those grand-kids and all the other lovely people around you and "see you" again soon,

  12. Hi Mary, such great selections you chose, after reading through your post and a few others, I realize that I wished I would have prepared the tart and the kebabs, well I still can I suppose. Anyway your presentation is so beautiful. Life sounds pretty busy out there in the country. Can't wait to see whats in store for us next month.

  13. Oh, good timing, I have beet greens quite a bit and never know what to do with them so shame on me, I usually throw them out, gasp. I will try this tart, I always have ricotta floating about as well (but I never throw that out as it does get used). Downsizing...we did that almost two years ago. We had a huge house and yard and pool and decided that we were spending too much time just caring for it all. We did a crazy thing and moved downtown on the canal as just a sort of lark for a year (Mark is an attorney and it is a five minute walk for him to work after commuting all these years 45 minutes each way each work day and sometimes Saturdays). Well, one year turned into two and now I think we are going for You are right, life was getting too quite with the boys gone and now there is a vibrancy to live again downtown with so much to do and so many places to walk. We love it. We end up spending time doing things rather than caretaking all that came with the house in the burbs. Kinda fun. For a few years anyway...who knew? lol Your food photos and recipes are spectacular, as always.

  14. All 3 of your recipes came out beautifully! I love your square tart pan. It looks so festive.

  15. All three of these look fantastic and they're making my mouth water. I especially love that potato salad!

  16. Hi Kathy! I love your choices. I made two of the same ones and loved them too. I want to try the grilled haloumi skewers, but I'm going to wait until tomatoes are local. I've never had haloumi before, so I'm looking forward to it. And I love your square tart pan.

  17. Hi Kathy, both salad, and the amazing tart is a must make...amazing, perfect, and totally delicious. The photos are superb, as well! Google+ and share the delicious salad on facebook, as well! xo

  18. The potato salad looks so appetizing Kathy - it's a winner for me.

  19. Kathy, each dish looks fabulous! I had hoped to make two of the dishes you did, the potato salad, and the kababs; unfortunately time got away from me. I see you were able to find some very small potatoes - perfect for this recipe; and your tart is just gorgeous!

  20. All 3 dishes look fantastic! Yeah, I thought life would slow down after the kids were grown---hahaha! Have a blast with your grandchildren!

  21. Helo -- my mouth is watering looking over these recipes and pictures! I am especially excited about making the potato salad (without mayo! yeah!). I do have some questions: do you make this salad with 4 lbs of potatoes? When you peel the eggs, do you simply leave them out on counter, or do you place them in the refrigerator (seems counterintuitive if you want to serve this dish at room temp)? It seems to be a long time to have them sit as you wait for the potatoes to cool for 30 minutes. thank you!