From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
350 g ready-made puff pastry (thawed if frozen)
a little plain flour (for dusting)
25 g unsalted butter
1 tblsp olive oil
1 small courgette (finely sliced)
1 small red pepper (seeded and sliced)
1 small red onion (finely sliced)
125 g button mushrooms (sliced)
1 egg yolk (lightly beaten)
25 g freshly grated parmesan cheese
100 g irish brie cheese (cut into thin slices (ripe but firm, such as st brendan or cooleeney)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh basil leaves (to garnish)
A versatile tart with all of the familiar pizza flavours but on a crisp puff pastry base. Try to use the all butter puff pastry, which is now widely available, as the flavour is so much better. If you don’t fancy using Brie try slices of mozzarella or goat’s cheese.
Roll out the pastry so it is 5mm (1/4in) thick on a lightly floured board and then chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5). Cut 2 x 20cm (8in) circles from the pastry and prick the whole surface evenly with a fork. Place on non-stick baking sheets and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes until puffed up and lightly golden.
While the pastry is baking, heat the butter in a large frying pan with the olive oil and sauté the courgette, red pepper, red onion and mushrooms for a few minutes until just wilted but not fully cooked. Season to taste and leave to cool a little.
Remove the pastry from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Brush the pastry with a little of the egg yolk to stop the pastry from absorbing excess liquid from the vegetables, then toss the rest with the vegetables and Parmesan.
Spread the tossed vegetables evenly over the pastry bases and scatter the slices of Irish Brie cheese on top. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes until the pizzas are puffed and golden and the vegetables are cooked. Garnish with the basil leaves and serve hot on plates, cut into wedges.