Chicken, leek and sun-dried tomato tart – gluten and dairy free.
Spring may have sprung, however, the mornings and nights are still somewhat chilly. If you live in the Blue Mountains you’d find the middle of the day has a bite to it as well which is what we discovered when we visited Scenic World at Katoomba recently.
Scenic World is home to the Scenic Railway (AKA the vertical train). The railway runs on a 52 degree incline and is known as the steepest passenger train in the world. After we rode the train to the bottom, we followed the Scenic Walkway; an elevated boardwalk through forest before we caught the cable car back to the top.
Back in Sydney and appreciating the warmer weather, I whipped up this gluten free tart which makes a great Winter to Spring transitional recipe.
Chickpea flour (AKA besan flour, garbanzo flour or gram flour) has been used for the crust which gives a nice, nutty flavour and goes well with the filling. It can be found at any health food shop and is not too expensive either. This particular recipe was taken from Grain free living but I tweaked it just a hair. The tart matches perfectly with a garden salad complete with a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, salt and pepper.
Why this is so good for you
Chickpeas boost energy, stabilise blood sugar, lower the risk of heart attack, reduce risk of colon cancer, reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and support strong bones.
Leaks strengthen the immune system, help regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of gastric ulcers. thin the blood (thus warding off blood clots, help fight asthma, chronic bronchitis, hay fever, diabetes, atherosclerosis, inhibit stomach cancer and detoxify the body from heavy metals.
Tomatoes aid in the prevention of prostate cancer, reduce the risk of stroke, protect against loss of muscle mass, preserve bone mineral density, reduce the formation of kidney stones and keep bowel movements regular.
Free range, pastured or organic chicken is hormone free, chemical free, antibiotic free, higher in Omega 3 than regular chicken, and richer in taste. Great for muscle growth and development, keeps bones strong, boosts the immune system, lowers the risk of developing arthritis, helps soothe PMS systems, helps to regulate testosterone levels in men, and reduces risk of heart attack.
Free range eggs are high in protein (which helps you keep full) and most of the nutrients are found in the yolk. Eggs help prevent macular degeneration and prevent cataracts, blood clots, stroke, heart disease and breast cancer; promote the growth of healthy hair and nails; and aid in the brain development of a growing foetus.
- 1 1/2 cups chickpea (besan/gram) flour
- 1 teaspoon ground sea salt
- Pinch of white pepper
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup of cold water
- 3 free range chicken thigh fillets, cut into bit sized pieces
- 1 leek, washed and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- Optional: 1 - 2 small red chillies, finely chopped (seeds and membrane removed) or 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped sun dried or semi dried tomatoes
- 10 - 12 torn basil leaves
- 3 free range eggs, lightly whisked
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/160 fan forced.
- Combine flour and salt in a food processor.
- Add the olive oil and blitz until mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Add a little water at a time (start off with 1/4 cup) until you have a slightly sticky but workable dough.
- Roll out dough between 2 sheets of baking paper. large enough to cover a large loose tart pan.
- Transfer dough to greased and floured pan. Prick dough all over with a fork.
- "Blind bake" by placing a sheet of foil over the dough. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until dough is light golden.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Heat oil on low in a large frying pan and saute the leek, garlic and chilli till soft.
- Increase the heat and fry the chicken till golden.
- Stir through the oregano leaves and cook for a few more minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Turn off heat and mix through the sun dried tomatoes.
- Transfer mixture onto pie tart base and spread out evenly. Sprinkle with the basil leaves.
- Meanwhile, combine eggs and milk and pour over chicken mixture.
- Sprinkle with some extra salt and pepper.
- Bake for about 20 - 30 minutes or until egg is set.(Test at intervals to see if set)
- Slice into wedges and serve with salad.
* If dough ends up too wet, add some more chickpea flour. If too dry, keep adding more water, bit by bit.
* "Blind baking" the dough (pre baking) is an important step as it stops the dough from puffing up and/or breaking and stops your crust from being soggy when adding the filling.
* If the base is not cooked enough after blind baking, cover the dough edges only with foil and bake for another 5 - 10 minutes. Remove foil.
* Oven temperatures vary so after the 20 minute mark, test the tart to see how set the egg is. My tart took 30 - 40 minutes in my fan forced oven.