Layers of thinly sliced root vegetable infused with garlic and herbs on a puff pastry base, makes an enticing dish for any special occasion. The tarts can be prepared in the morning or day before and simply placed in the oven when ready to serve.
4 tbsp flat leaf parsley, blanched in boiling water and then refreshed in plenty of ice cold water (retaining its greenness)
2 tbsp mint leaves (blanched)
Root Vegetables: Cook the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for 3-5 minutes so that they are just cooked (they should still be firm to bite), repeat the process with the parsnips, butternut squash and sweet potatoes. Cook and keep all the vegetables separately.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a high heat, add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the mixed herbs.
Lightly butter a baking tray and 6 x 9cm (3 1/2 inch) pastry rings. Lay the pastry rings out on the baking tray, place a layer of the potato slices in the base of each one, spoon over a little of the herb butter and season. Repeat the process with the butternut squash followed by the parsnip and finely the sweet potatoes.
Roll the puff pastry out so that it is 3-.5mm thick, cut the pastry into 6 discs with a fluted cutter slightly bigger than the pasty rings eg. 11.5cm (4 1/2 inch). Cover the filled pastry rings with the discs. Cut the remaining pastry into 12 holy leaves and 12 small balls (for the berries). Place the tarts and pastry in the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes.
To Cook: Preheat an oven to 200°C. Brush the holy leaves and berries with the beaten egg yolk. Butter the rim of the pastry ring or ramekin lightly. Cover the filled ramekins or pastry rings with the discs glazed side down. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is risen and golden brown. Bake the holy leaves and berries in the final 5 minutes of baking.
Garlic and parsley Cream Sauce: Place the stock, wine and cream in a saucepan and place over a moderate-high heat. Allow the mixture to simmer for around 15 minutes until you have a sauce consistency. Pour into a food processor or blender with the blanched parsley and mint, blend so that the herbs are pureed. Return to a saucepan and reheat when ready to serve.
Remove the tarts from the oven, turn them out onto warm serving plates, so that the pastry is at the base (the potato should be golden). Garnish with pastry holly leaves and berries. Pour the sauce around the tarts. Serve with a light salad or with Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Chestnuts and Cranberries (see recipe).