There are so many things I’d like to cook but anytime I have people coming over I never seem to have enough time to cook. I supposed it happens to other people too. I, however, refuse to feed people anything I haven’t made myself. No to bought dips and salsas, I just refuse no matter how busy I am. I like to reach for something I can at least start to make ahead. I recently saw some thing similar on an American blog, though I am sorry I can’t remember which one. It was made as a whole large tart.
As a result when I have people over to eat, I am always looking for that magically easy starter. The one that you start to prepare ahead and just finish off when you need it. It’s usually a bit of a bonus if you can chop and change the basic ingredients without affecting the whole dish too. It would also be nice if you had vegetarians in the crowd to be able to tweek it to fit a vegetarian too. Do you think such a dish exists?. That’s a lot of area for a starter to cover but I think I might just have come up with the perfect plan.
I don’t like to be formal when I have friends and family around , so these could be eaten with the hands and a serviette or you could serve them at the table with a small salad. It’s just that versatile…. These little Lamb and Sweet Potato Hummus Tarts are my new go to starter.
They are ticking a surprising number of boxes. You can make the tart shells the same day or the day before and leave at room temperature, they don’t require anything but a paint brush to get them right. Make the sweet potato hummus and make the lamb crumble too if you like and reheat. They are finished with a tomato coriander and mint salad with a few pinenuts for crunch. Change the filling to match what you have…plain hummus, beetroot hummus or even avocado puree. If you don’t like lamb use chicken beef or spiced fish mince or crumbled spiced tofu or feta cheese. See what I mean?. I think you might like these. I have made the Hummus before as a Pumpkin option. Remember you can make hummus wth roasted or cooked carrot, beetroot or even add a bit of feta……………I’ve used this recipe that I made for Pumpkin Hummus a short while ago.
- 1 packet filo pastry (375gm-13 oz)
- 100 ml (3 tablespoons) melted butter
- 500 gm (1/2 lb) lamb mince
- 1 small ( ½ cup) finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 large tomato diced
- 2-3 sprigs of both coriander and mint leaves
- 2 Tablespoons pinenuts
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon extra olive oil
- 1 Tablespoons lemon juice
- a small pinch of salt
- 250 gm roasted or steamed Sweet Potato- Peel and roast after tossing in olive oil and salt and pepper. If you bake extra you can use them as a nice garnish for a fresh chunky look.
- 1 can drained washed chick peas ( 400gm- 14oz)
- 2 Tablespoons tahini
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 4 Tablespoons lemon juice (approx 1 lemon)
- 1 clove garlic ( or more if you like)
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil ( approx ¼ cup and extra)
- extra water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Begin making your tarts by greasing tiny tart moulds or a muffin tin and preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Lay out a sheet of phyllo pastry and spread the sheet over the greased mould and push it into the mould gently so that it lines the bottom and the sides. Cut around the top of the pastry sticking out of the mould with scissors or a small sharp knife. Continue to gently push pastry into the mould painting a small amount of butter between each layer until you have about 4-6 layers. Continue lik this until you have about 12 moulds or tart shells completed. Bake the tart shells for 15 to 20 minutes or until starting to colour golden. Set aside to cool. They will come out of the moulds easily. If possible leave them in the moulds so they dont break or crack
- Put the sweet potato, chickpeas, cumin, lemon, tahini, garlic, salt and ¼ cup of olive oil into the bowl of a food processor and blitz. If the mixture is too thick to puree add a little more oil and water alternately.
- Taste the mixture . It should have enough salt to bring out the flavours of the sweet and cumin and the lemon needs to add some zing.
- These things can be done ahead of time.
- The next thing you can do ahead or at the last minute. It's up to you, but I like to do this ahead too.
- Heat a medium frypan and add a 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the onion and cumin and saute on low till starting to soften. Turn the heat up and add the Lamb mince and fry this mixture, breaking down the Lamb as it cooks. Make sure you cook on a high heat to brown the Lamb so it doesn't stew. When the meat is starting to colour and is breaking down, add the garlic and continue to cook till the Lamb starts to be browned and crispy. Set aside.
- Make the tomato salad fresh. Cut the tomato into small dice. Put into a bowl and add a sprinkling of salt, the 1 Tablespoon olive oil, the lemon juice and the lightly chopped herbs, stir to combine.
- Put the tarts together by setting them all out on a platter (or plates), put a nice big dollop of sweet potato into the tart case. Next add a spoon of the Lamb mince and follow with the tomato salad. Sprinkle with the Pinenuts for crunch.
- * Finish with a drizzle of Lemon oil or a good extra virgin oil. Serve with a rocket or watercress, radish salad as a side
Delicious little Lamb and Sweet Potato Hummus Tarts