A truly tasty Mediterranean treat

A quiet spell at the restaurant gives Dr Chris Duckham time to try out some exciting new recipes

At this time of year there is always a bit of a lull with bookings at the restaurant until the first tourists arrive around Easter. I don’t mind though, as it gives me some time to try out new ideas for the menu. One idea that I may be putting on the menu is this boquerone and ratatouille tartlet.

Boquerones are the marinated white anchovies available from the chilled counter of good delicatessens and, even served on their own, make great tapas. I have simply continued the Mediterranean theme by adding ratatouille in my tartlets. If you have the time, making your own puff pastry would be perfect but otherwise bought puff pastry is an acceptable substitute.

Boquerone and ratatouille tartlets

  1. Preheat the oven to 190oC.
  2. Make the ratatouille by firstly dicing the courgette, aubergine and red pepper finely.
  3. Sweat the vegetables and chopped garlic in a little olive oil until soft, then gently stir in the passata and remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Roll out the puff pastry to about 0.5cm in thickness. Cut out four rectangles, each about 12cm by 7.5cm.
  5. Prick the puff pastry rectangles all over with a fork, except for the very edges, so that the edges will still rise.
  6. Place carefully on a non-stick baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for around 12 minutes until lightly golden, then cool on a wire rack.
  7. When ready to serve, divide the ratatouille mixture between the tartlets and carefully layer the boquerone fillets attractively over the top.
  8. Return to the oven for about four minutes to heat through. Serve immediately with a little finely shredded basil as a garnish and perhaps a basil vinaigrette. Serve with a dry white wine such as Muscadet.

Dr Duckham is a GP in Tongue and Armadale, Sutherland and runs Restaurant Cote du Nord, Farr Bay Inn, Sutherland. www.farrbayinn.co.uk. Please email your comments or queries to GPlife@haymarket.com

Ingredients
For four people as a starter

One large courgette

One aubergine

One red pepper

A little olive oil

One clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

40ml passata or pureed tinned tomatoes

200g puff pastry

100g Boquerone anchovies

A few basil leaves, finely shredded at the very last moment

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