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Feta Cheese Spring Salad Tarts

Ali Nightingale shares her delicious recipe for a speedy dish...

Quick. Easy. Cheap. Three little words that rock my culinary world when I am short on time and funds. As addicted as I am to cooking, I don’t always have the inclination to slave over meals, and I am turning to vegetarian dishes more often, in frustration at the cost of meat.

Yet this is not an austerity recipe; there is nothing that tastes frugal or lacking in this tasty little tart that would happily grace the table of any fashionable Bistro. It’s simplicity on a plate; fresh and fragrant as a sunny day, and utilising my diet tip of ready-made light puff pastry, cuts down on calories as well as preparation time.

1 sheet shop-bought light puff pastry, thawed
250g Feta Cheese, crumbled
Small jar of marinated artichoke hearts
1 egg, beaten
100g yellow & red cherry tomatoes
120g frozen peas, thawed
Mint leaves
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Feel free to substitute any of the ingredients to suit your preference. Mozzarella and Basil will work just as well, and for those of you that cannot imagine a meal with meat, perhaps add some crispy bacon. If you don’t like artichokes, you could substitute with asparagus.

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Cut the pastry into 4 rectangles, and score a half-inch border inside each square. Place the pieces on a baking tray lined with parchment and top with feta and artichoke hearts. Brush the borders with the egg wash and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Prepare the salad. Halve the tomatoes, place in a bowl with the peas and ripped up mint leaves. Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

When the hot tarts are removed from the oven, top with the salad. Season and serve immediately.