South Africa’s popular Online Organic shop, Faithful to Nature invited me to partake in a #faithfulfood challenge and come up with a dish, that features fresh local produce and would be perfect for lunch. My hunt for eaters led me to the quaint backyard of my friend Marius’ house in Woodstock. Surrounded by boxes filled with worm cultures and buckets and pots full of vegetables and herbs, we got comfortable on cushions and a Moroccan throw. Here we are, wrapped in a scent of the finest Ethiopian frankincense; sipping tea and sharing a homemade gluten-free beetroot and kohlrabi tart with goats cheese and kale pesto.
– The crust
This is my absolute favorite recipe for a pastry crust. I use it for a variety of sweet, as well as savory dishes; apple pie, tarts or quiches. Whereas the sweet version requires 100 grams of icing-sugar, the savory version does well with some rosemary and parsley.
Now, the exciting part about this recipe is that it doesn’t matter whether you use gluten-free all-purpose flour or ordinary cake flour.
I prefer to stay away from wheat and therefore like to opt for wheat- or gluten-free. I like to mix my own gluten-free all-purpose flour though because I can be sure to know what’s in it and secondly it’s just so much fun making use of all these fabulous gluten-free flours and starches that are out there. Just forget all your fears about gluten-free baking and let’s play.
Here’s the golden rule: 40% whole-grain gluten-free flours (millet-flour, chickpea flour, brown rice flour buckwheat flour etc.), mixed with 60% white starches (white rice flour, potato starch, corn-starch, tapioca starch etc.) Nut flours or seed flours belong to a different category, they are oily, work differently and cannot be used for every purpose. Hence, let’s forget about them when making a classic gluten-free all-purpose flour for a shortcrust.
*shake well and keep in an airtight container at a dark and dry place
Ingredients for savory shortcrust
- 500g of homemade gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 2 pasture-reared eggs from Usana Farm
- small handful of chopped rosemary and parsley
- a dash of ethically sourced full-fat milk
- 250g of butter
*whatever is left over, keep wrapped in cling-wrap in your freezer
Method for savory shortcrust
Sieve flour over a large clean surface, add cold butter cut in smallish cubes and herbs. Mix the eggs and milk in a separate bowl.
Knead the butter into the flour as if you are trying to make crumbles. Once everything is crumbly add your liquid mixture and knead gently while forming a ball. Dust ball with a little bit of extra flour, wrap in clingwrap and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then roll out and fit into your oven dish or spring-form. Here I have used enamel pans, befitting the style of this lunch.
– The filling
I have a fantastic and simple recipe for a fragrant kale pesto here, which I love to use a lot for all sorts of occasions. The only thing that I did different today was that I used toasted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds instead of nuts and olive oil. Each time, I make it by hand, as I find using the mortar and pestle meditative. For this recipe, I mixed a big spoon full with a generous dash of ethically sourced lagneh from the Camphill Village. Now, I smeared the inside with a thick layer of this creamy mixture to add a lovely herby flavor to my tart.
Ingredients for 2 tarts