If you are planning on making the pita breads, make them a little thicker when rolling out and toast them well before using for this dish, otherwise they have a tendency to get soggy from the sauce. Click here to learn how to make the pita breads.
Make 1 quantity of basic pastry, adding 2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme leaves to the mix. Prepare and blind bake as above.
While it's easy to use bought pastry, it is really not very tricky to make yourself. I usually turn to this quick shortcrust pastry; adding hard herbs such as rosemary or thyme or spices like smoked paprika, nutmeg and mixed spice can also add a little interest. If I’m making a sweet pastry I add a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar to the mix and I might add some flavourings such as cocoa, cinnamon, orange or lemon zest or some vanilla.
I prefer to use a food processor to blend the butter with the flour, then once I’ve added the liquid and the mix is starting to clump I’ll bring the dough together on a bench. It is important to chill the dough once it has been made so the gluten in the flour can relax – which means that the dough won’t shrink in the tin. I also chill it again after I’ve put it into a tart tin (or I may freeze it at this point) to blind bake from frozen.
Recipes and Food Styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles
Traditionally the confit process was a way of preserving meat; the meat was salted then poached in fat enabling it to be stored long term. We mostly associate duck or goose with the confit method, however the process is adaptable; fish and chicken also work well, especially when the confit uses oil. The cooked chicken can keep in the oil for up to a week, and the oil can be reused for other dishes.
This is also good as finger food – put a small slice of salmon and carrot pickle in each baby gem leaf, then top with a small dollop of the dill sour cream dressing.
I often find cooked salmon too rich, preferring to eat it raw or barely cooked, but I enjoy it most when it’s been lightly cured as in this classic gravlax. You can of course play around with the flavourings – whisky and orange zest in place of gin and dill, add extra spices like coriander or juniper, or grated raw beetroot to the mix to give the outer flesh a ruby glow.