Blue Cheese and Chicory Tart

This makes a very good supper or lunch dish and is more delicate in flavour than the ingredients would perhaps suggest. The original plan was to make a Stilton quiche with a chicory salad on the side. Then I thought, why not put the chicory into the tart?

Blue cheese and chicory are such a good combination. I added a little bacon to this but vegetarians can leave it out. It’s good either way. I served it with a baby spinach, avocado and apple salad.

Please note: I make quiches with self-raising flour according to the Katie Stewart method because there’s no faff with pre-baking the pie shell and you still get a crisp pastry with no soggy bottom. I use a quiche tin that is 23cm diameter and 3.5cm deep.

Blue Cheese and Chicory Tart


275g shortcrust pastry (made with SR flour, see link)

2-3 rashers smoked streaky bacon

40g butter

1 small onion

2 heads of chicory

About 75g blue cheese (I used Stichelton), cut into small chunks

3 eggs

300 ml single or double cream or crème fraîche

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season


Preheat the oven to 375F/190C/Gas Mark 5. Put in a baking sheet to heat up.

Roll out the pastry on a floured board and use to line a 23cm loose-bottomed flan ring. Put it into the fridge to chill.

Heat a large frying pan on the stove. Cut the bacon into strips and cook until the fat runs and the bacon is beginning to crisp. Remove and set on kitchen paper.

Cut the first head of chicory lengthways into quarters. Add the butter to the pan with the bacon fat and gently fry the chicory until golden, turning once and trying the keep the pieces from breaking up. Remove carefully and set aside with the bacon, keeping them separate.

Cut the second head of chicory into thick rounds, discarding any hard core. Peel and chop the onion. Fry both in the remaining fat in the pan over a low heat, sprinkled with a little salt, until soft and golden. Drain on kitchen paper as before.

Beat the eggs with the cream and season with salt and pepper. Take the tart out of the fridge and scatter the base evenly with the fried onions, chopped chicory and bacon and the cubes of blue cheese. Arrange the longer pieces of chicory carefully over the top.

Pour over the egg and cream mixture, put the tin on the pre-heated baking sheet and cook for around 35-40 minutes or until set but still a bit wobbly in the middle. Allow to cool a little before removing from the tin. Best served warm.

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