Around the world in 80 dishes No. 44: Spring vegetable tarte fine

Ingredients to serve 4
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1 tablespoon chopped chervil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
60g crème fraîche
2 egg yolks
60g Gruyère cheese, grated
6 asparagus spears
1 medium courgette
80g shelled fresh peas
60g unsalted butter
8 spring onions, sliced
3 sheets of filo pastry
12 large sorrel leaves
50g baby spinach leaves
80g rocket leaves
Coarse sea salt and freshly
Ground black pepper


This is a lovely dinner party dish, particularly in springtime when you can make it with lots of the new season's veg.

Mix the chervil and parsley together with the crème fraîche and egg yolks. Add half the grated Gruyère and season to taste. Set aside.

Thinly slice the asparagus and courgette lengthways on a mandoline. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and prepare a bowl of iced water. When the water is boiling, add the strips of asparagus to the water, leave for 10 seconds, then plunge them into the iced water to cool. Repeat with the courgette slices and dry both well on kitchen paper. Cook the peas for 2 or 3 minutes, then refresh them in iced water and dry on kitchen paper.

Place a shallow pan on a low to medium heat and melt half the butter. Add the spring onions, season them with salt and pepper and cook briefly for 2–3 minutes, until just done. Transfer to a plate to cool, then mix them with the egg mixture.

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Melt the remaining butter. Take a sheet of filo, place it on a baking tray and brush one side with butter. Place another sheet on top, brush with butter, then add the last sheet and brush with butter. Cut the filo into 4 equal rectangles, place another baking tray on top to keep the filo flat and bake for about 15 minutes until golden and crispy. Turn the oven down to 160C/Gas 3.

Spread the spring onion and egg mixture over the filo. Add the sorrel and spinach leaves, then season. Add the courgette, asparagus and peas, and lastly the rocket. Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and bake for 8–10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Taken from 'Tom Aikens Easy' (Ebury, £25).