Ned is a typical almost-two-year-old. He loves something one day, won't countenance it the next, will eat kale and broccoli but rejects most other vegetables, won't look at fruit and is most happy with sausages and chips (as long as some 'chup' is present). It sort makes you lose your mind a little - not only the problem of 'are they getting enough fruit and vegetables?' but the sheer waste of food. Thank god for my dogs. But we went to hang out with my friend Laura and her twin boys and she had been to her friends house the week before who had produced this tart that had been eaten by all the children. Laura made it for our boys and again it all went in and it's been a huge hit in our house ever since.
I now make sure that I have pre-rolled, puff pastry that I've cut into one child sized portions in the freezer so I can just pull one or two out and make one of these tarts to feel I'm getting enough goodness into the boy. It was also incredibly useful on holiday in France. We could get puff pastry sheets and the vegetables there are fantastic so it was a sure fire baby friendly hit... in fact I ended up making it for the whole family for lunch one day, it was so in demand.
This is incredibly versatile - you can use what vegetables you have in the house and leave off anything you know your child will reject (Ned will not countenance a mushroom). I'm putting Ned's favourite options below but you use what you like. I would say that a pesto base and cheese topping are always winners but anything seems to go in between!
I was reluctant to post this because it seems very obvious but it's very hard to get stuck in a rut when cooking for children and this has been a real savior for us. It would also be a great option for if you had a vegetarian child for lunch or supper, though obviously leave off the tuna/ham. You can add red peppers, tomatoes to make it sweet and appealing.
Ned's Eat Your Veg Tart
1 x pack pre-rolled puff pastry (I pack will do 2-4 two year olds but I pre-cut and freeze squares big enough for one child. You can always defrost a couple if there are friends for supper)
1. Lay the pastry (cut to the size you need) on a baking tray and spread a thin layer of pesto over the base leaving about a centimetre around the edge for the pastry to puff up.
2. Thinly slice the courgette and lay that over the top of the pesto.
3. Next add the tuna, salmon or ham that you want to use.
4. Sprinkle over the sweetcorn.
5. Grate over the cheese.
6. Cook for 15-20 mins. You want this to be golden and puffed around the edges and the cheese to be melted. If you don't cook for long enough the pastry will be all limp and unappealing.