I’ve taken a long hard look at the internet-popular hash brown quiche and made it shorter, less mess and way more weeknight friendly – meet the Flourless Ham, Cheese and Mushroom Tart.
It’s a highly flexible recipe that you’ll find yourself making again and again: a great way to use up potatoes. I found a gap in the prep time which is perfect for creating a quick green salad. If that’s not your thing, just leave those steps out when you make it.
There’s a lot to love in this switch from pastry to potatoes – will it be for you?
Kids in the kitchen tips
- Attention all graters! Sorting out the potatoes here is a top little job for kids of most ages. Be realistic about how many spuds your 4 or 12 year old can manage – every bit helps.
- Hash browns are a big draw card for kids in this recipe – you can even skip the fresh potatoes and buy a bag of frozen hash browns instead: let them defrost and mash them together into the pie pan base.
- Using a small clean jar is one of the very best ways to make a vinaigrette style dressing (an old mustard jar is perfect). If you’re worried about shaken glass and kids (fair enough!) use a small plastic container with a good lid.
- Got a family divided over mushrooms or any other firm ingredient? Do the opposite to hidden veg: use the despised item as a topping so it’s easy to see and remove. You’re still ‘exposing’ kids to the ingredient and over time, that chips away at resistance!
- Talk about the difference between a traditional pastry base and this flourless version: who do you think will like it most in the family? Who do you know who is avoiding wheat and flour? You could talk about trends in food advice and the importance of balance: potatoes used to be the ‘bad guys’, remember?
Flourless ham, cheese and mushroom tart
- Pie dish or baking dish about 25cm round/square
- mixing bowl
- Sieve or colander
- Clean tea towel/paper towel
- Small jar or bowl (for dressing)
- 4 large or 6-8 smaller potatoes weighing about 700g
- 50 g butter
- 25 g parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 4 eggs
- 125 g ricotta cheese
- 150 g ham sliced in short strips
- 150 g grated cheese eg Swiss or cheddar
- 4 mushrooms sliced for topping
- Alternative or extra fillings eg, mushrooms, peas, spinach, spring onions, chopped green herbs
- 1 small lettuce or bag of leaves
- 1 cucumber
- 1 green capsicum
- 2 tbsp chopped soft fresh green herbs eg, mint, basil, chives, dill, oregano.
- 3 tbsp mild vinegar eg, apple cider, raspberry, sherry.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 220C
- Wash potatoes and grate with skins on. Place all in a sieve and rinse under a cold tap about 15 seconds, then squeeze between your hand and the sieve to remove most of the remaining liquid. Leave in sieve in the sink until ready to use.
- Melt butter in microwave (if using a microwave safe baking dish, melt directly in the dish). Add salt and pepper and swirl to cover all of dish.
- Add drained potato gratings and grated parmesan to the dish and use your hands to combine thoroughly with the butter.
- With your hands, press mix to the sides and base of the dish or pie pan. It will be 1-2cm thick all over, depending on the size of your dish. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the interior and feel for bumps or air pockets.
- Bake around 15 minutes in middle shelf while you prepare filling and make the green salad.
- Crack eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the cheeses, salt and pepper, sliced ham and any optional fillings, mix well. It will be quite thick.
- Green salad
- Break up lettuce, use a salad spinner or wash and let dry on clean tea towel or paper towel.
- Make dressing by combining all ingredients in small jar and shaking. Taste for balance and add a few drops more oil if too tart, more vinegar if too flat.
- Slice cucumber and capsicum. Combine with lettuce in a salad bowl. Reserve dressing until serving.
- Add the filling to the potato base. Decorate top with sliced mushrooms. Cook at 200C for 25 min or until firm in centre and browning on top.
- Cool slightly before serving warm from dish, accompanied by green salad and pass around the dressing.