Russell Bateman's simple herb tarts are inspired by a recent trip to Denmark, he says: 'This dish is all about the stalks and the flavour of the stalks rather than the leaves. The tart is just a vehicle for the herbs so I can get the flavour of the herbs across as best as possible. I was at Noma in Copenhagen and saw a different way to incorporate herbs into a dish. There were herb stalks on some of dishes throughout the meal and it worked really well. The impact from the flavour was amazing and that's what stood out for me.'
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To make the ricotta for the filling, place the milk and cream in a heavy-bottomed pan and bring up to 180°F. Add the buttermilk and increase the heat to 203°F
1 1/16 pint of milk
4 1/4 fl oz of double cream
3 1/4 oz of buttermilk
Continue to simmer at this temperature for an hour. After this time, add the salt and strain through a colander, then hang in a muslin cloth placed over a bowl overnight, in order to drain off the excess liquid
1/8 oz of salt
For the tarts, cut the feuille pastry into small circles and use to line ten 1 1/4 in tart moulds. Stack the tart moulds one on top of the other so you have a stack of ten tarts
feuille de brick pastry
Preheat the oven to 356°F/gas mark 4. Bake the tarts for 12 minutes until golden brown and completely crisp, then set aside to cool
Pick the leaves from all the herbs (these could be kept in the fridge for other dishes), then thoroughly wash the stalks in iced water. Whilst cold, cut the herb stalks as finely as you can with a sharp knife. Set aside in the fridge covered with a damp cloth
1/4 oz of chervil
1/8 oz of sweet cicely
1/16 oz of tarragon
1/8 oz of dill
1/16 oz of parsley
1/8 oz of chives
1/4 oz of watercress
When ready to serve, place the ricotta in a piping bag and carefully unmould the tart cases. Pipe the tarts with a thin layer of ricotta, cover with a generous spoonful of the herb mixture and poke in a few flaked almonds. Serve immediately
1/2 oz of flaked almonds, toasted
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