May 26, 2008

individual smoked salmon and watercress tian

Ah..... the Great British Bank Holiday!

Rain again.....but that didn't stop us enjoying it, after all, we wouldn't let a few showers spoil the fun! Not much chance for basking in sunshine in the garden, but, undeterred, we still managed to conjure an illusion of Summer with these individual smoked salmon tian; perfect with a light salad of mixed leaves, dressed with garlic vinaigrette, and freshly made crunchy coleslaw on the side - who cares about the rain when you can create Summer in your kitchen!
A Tian is basically a tart without the pastry crust, named after the half glazed french Tian dish that it was traditionally cooked in. Not only does this mean that it is very easy to make, also get all of the wonderful rich, savoury, flavour of a tart, without all the work of making pastry and lining tart cases etc! Whilst there is obviously still a place for tarts and quiches, these little Tians make a wonderful short-cut, and they're great if you can't eat wheat, or you just simply don't want the extra fuss, or 'packaging' of the pastry crust. They hold together surprisingly well even without a pastry case, so they are also perfect for picnics and packed lunches. (Bet you can't guess what's in my lunch-box for today!....)

Because I wanted small, individual, Tians I improvised and cooked them in my muffin pan. The combination of delicate smoked salmon and punchy watercress is so evocative of lazy Summer eating, and it's all held together with a smooth, creamy textured custard, tinged with garlic and freshly grated aromatic nutmeg (this has an amazing ability to bring out the flavour in any creamy sauce)

Individual Smoked Salmon and Watercress Tian
(Cabbage Roses and Cupcakes)

5 eggs
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
150mls single cream
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
120g smoked salmon
half an 85g bag of watercress roughly chopped (plus a few sprigs for garnish)
1 clove garlic
half a tsp grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Set your oven to 180C / Gas 4. Then, in a large bowl, blend together the eggs, cream, creme fraiche, and parmesan. Stir in the garlic, nutmeg, and watercress, and then season to taste. If you don't have a non-stick pan you may need to oil it a little before pouring in the Tian filling. Pour the filling almost to the top of each muffin mould.

(Because the salmon is heavy and sinks to the bottom of the mixture, I found it easier to divide the salmon between the muffin moulds after pouring in the egg and cream filling to make sure that it was evenly distributed). Finally, place a decorative sprig of watercress on the top of each Tian and bake for 20-30 mins until they are just set and golden brown.


Sylvie said...

What a fantastic looking treat. I'll have to try these as I love all the flavours in it!

LyB said...

That sounds like such a wonderful lunch! I love the photo with the grated nutmeg, it's one of my favorite spices. :)

nicisme said...

Salmon and watercress is a great combination to put together, I'm feeling hungry now...!

Rosie said...

Oh boy just let me pick my jaw off my keyboard.... that tart is amazing!! I just adore you combo of smoked salmon & watercress!

Rosie x

Antonia said...

These look superb - especially as they don't require any special equipment. I'll get my muffin tin at the read!

Hippolyra said...

these sound lovely. Personally I think that pastry is generally a waste of calories when there is all that lovely filling to eat!

Sophie said...

Hi :),

We would like to feature your smoked salmon and watercress tian on our blog and possibly our digital-recipe reader, too.

Please email if interested. Thanks :)

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