The beautiful blue or white flowers of borage are a lovely feature of the Resilience Garden. They currently add colour to the patch of seeding cress, and are very attractive to bees.
Borage is relentlessly self-seeding. Fortunately the leaves are edible and a regular cull of small plants yields plenty for this recipe. The other important ingredient is a chunk of cheap soft cheese – Brie, Camembert, goat’s cheese – which you’ve picked up on offer.
I found some Somerset Brie at the Farmers’ Market, and it was time for some selective weeding.
Collect a colander full of young borage leaves. Wash, lightly shred, and steam for about ten minutes until they are quite soft and merged into a pulp. Make a shortcrust pastry base and bake it blind. I’d use a small dish to try this out, about 8” across, which takes a mix of three ounces of fat to six ounces of plain flour.
Spread a layer of steamed borage across the cooked pastry base, between half and one centimetre thick. Now do your best to slice the soft cheese and cover the layer of borage with it. Settle for dotting chunks on the tart if you have a particularly resistant cheese; it will melt.
Bake it on the middle shelf of a medium oven until the cheese has melted to your satisfaction while the pastry edges remain unburnt. It takes twenty minutes or so, if you work while everything is still hot.
This is the basic structure of the borage cheese tart, to which you can add by foraging. For this one, I foraged a red onion from the vegetable basket and a few rashers of smoky bacon neglected by the lodger. These were finely chopped and fried up together, then stirred into the steamed borage. While in the garden, I’d found a couple of early courgettes. Thinly sliced, these made another layer on top of the borage.
We had the tart cold, with new potatoes from a tyre stack and salad leaves from the greenhouse next door; the meal fed three adults. Even the weeds in the Resilience Garden are useful!