Saturday, 13 June 2009

Rosemary, lemon and parsnip tarts

About a month ago, I had taken in a slice of this rosemary, lemon and parsnip tart to one of my work colleagues. She liked it so much she was telling other work colleagues how delicious this parsnip cake was, so much so that I was given a number of requests, 'oh the next time you make some, please can I get to try some, oh please, pretty please'. I also think some of the requests were down to curiosity as well, 'err what does a parsnip cake taste like'. Or 'ooh I can’t imagine eating vegetable as a cake!' Well why not, many of you have heard of carrot cake, courgette and chocolate cake and even beetroot and chocolate cake. What so wrong about parsnip cake with a little bit of rosemary? So I decided to make some of my colleagues individual rosemary, lemon and parsnip tarts earlier this week.
Parsnips are still in season here and the rosemary came from my thriving herb box at the allotment plot. The flavour of the rosemary is so subtle and the sweetness of the parsnip lends itself nicely to the slight twang of the lemon.
Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean. I think it is such a reliable herb especially in the winter, when all other herbs are in short supply. It is easy to grow not requiring much maintenance. It is good both fresh and dried for cooking, but have you ever wondered where it got its name from. Legend has it that the Virgin Mary spread her cloak over a rosemary bush while she rested and as a result of this the flowers turned blue like her cloak. From then on, the bush was called ‘Rose of Mary.” Rosemary is also known as ‘Sea rose, Herb of Crowns, Mary’s Tree, Guardrobe, Incensier, Elf Leaf, Sea Dew, Dew of the Sea, Polar Plant, Mary’s Cloak, Stella Maria, Star of The Sea and Compass Plant’. Wow, so many beautiful names for one robust plant.
I have also decided to submit this to this weeks Weekend Herb blogging event which is celebrating its thirds year anniversary, which was started by Kalyn of Kalyns Kitchen. I think this is a great way to get food bloggers to cook with what is in season and growing locally. This weeks Weekend Herb blogging challenge No 187 is being hosted by Katie of Eat This and organized by Haalo of Cook Almost Anything Once, I so like this title, cook almost anything once, I do – as long as its vegan or vegetarian, hey that’s just me.

Rosemary, lemon and parsnip tarts
Serves 10
Line 10 x 4 1/2 inch tartlet tins with homemade or shop bought sweet pastry and blind bake.
125g butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind
50g golden caster sugar1 teaspoon of lemon juice
3 medium eggs
170g self-raising flour
280g parsnips, peeled and grated
Preheat oven to gas mark 6.

Cream butter, lemon rind and sugar with an electric hand held mixer until pale yellow. Add lemon juice and beat in eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour and grated parsnip. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked pastry case and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes to 45 minutes or until firm to the touch.

Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream

The tart was inspired by a recipe for parsnip and orange cake in the New Cranks Recipe Book, but I decided to replace the orange for lemon and add a teaspoon of freshly minced rosemary. I thought it was a success, and my confidence about it permitted me to share it with a few friends. Now all I have to do is wait to hear their opinions on Monday. Will they like it or will they not?


  1. The tart looks lovely. Rosemary is one of my favorite flavors.

  2. Michele,

    I do sometimes struggle to cook with rosemary.

  3. Oh my goodness! I expected this to be a savoury tart. This sounds lovely as a dessert item.

    Hmmm, I wonder what would happen if you omitted the sugar and added a few onions.

  4. Hi Elizabeth,

    Thank you.

    I hope it was a pleasant surprise.


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