We are officially entering the season of alfresco lunches and picnics. Poignant St James cheese is offset with root vegetables in this hearty and flavoursome savoury tart, that is sure to provide a winning centrepiece on any summer dining table. This is the sort of excellent seasonal food you can expect at Thyme's restaurant, The Ox Barn, where the team works to deliver delicious food under the direction of Head Chef Charlie Hibbert.
Recipe for onion, potato, St James and thyme tart
For the tart
3 Roscoff onions or 6 shallots
1 large potato (approx. 250-350g)
1 sheet of readymade puff pastry (320g)
15 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked from the stem
Olive oil for cooking
Sea salt flakes
For the egg wash
A splash of milk (approx. 15ml)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (normal) | 160°C (fan) | gas mark 4.
Slice the onions in half from root to tip, leaving the skin intact. Drizzle a little olive oil on a roasting tray, and season with salt. Place the onions cut side down on a tray and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Next, peel the potato and cut it into quarters. Put it into a pot, cover with water and bring to the boil - allowing them to cook for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
Take your puff pastry and cut out a rectangle (about 30cm by 20cm). Place it on a baking tray atop a sheet of baking paper. Then, using a small sharp knife, score a border about 1cm in from the edges. Pull the onions into their individual petals and scatter them evenly across the puff pastry, discarding the skins. Drain your potato and break it into chunks before scattering it across the tart along with the chopped thyme leaves. Finally, cut the St James cheese into strips and layer it evenly across your vegetables. Beat the egg and the milk together and use a pastry brush to paint the edge of the tart. Bake the tart in the oven for 25 minutes, until the tart has risen well and the base is cooked and crisp.
Take the tart out of the oven and serve with a green salad or as part of a picnic.
Thyme includes 32 bedrooms situated throughout the Georgian rectory, The Lodge, The Tallet and the buildings around the courtyard and gardens. Ox Barn (seats 62) offers a wonderful dining experience, with its own twist on seasonal British food.
Thyme also offers the Baa bar, meadow spa, pool, orchid house and botanical bothy. The piggery and balcony room boutiques stock Bertioli by Thyme's range of silkwear, tableware and bespoke homeware.
If that's not enough, their 'village within a village' also contains a cookery school, floristry and drawing classes, farm, kitchen gardens, orchards and water meadows. Cottages are available for private hire and you can also book the Tithe Barn for private events.
Thyme’s room rates currently start at £335 (midweek) / £395 (Fri, Sat) per night. These are room rates include breakfast.
Thyme, Southrop Manor Estate, Southrop, Gloucestershire, GL7 3PW