The Last Parsnip

A Truly Unbelievable Dining Experience from Chef Bryce Chartwell

Saint Diogenes' Tart



Saint Diogenes Day, traditionally the third Monday in January (unless it coincided with a full moon, in which case it moved to mid-July), was a time of great celebration and, inexplicably, great sacrifice. Like the great saint, who succumbed to hypothermia while goat herding in the Inner Hebrides, celebrants wore insufficient clothing and were expected to "live with their livestock" for two weeks prior to the great day. The "feast" itself was a surprisingly modest affair, consisting of a few dour meat dishes and a potato salad. The centerpiece of the celebration, the tart, garnered sufficient interest to remain a staple dish in the Lowlands until this day. Typically served "nude" (cold and without cream, milk or any other "sauces of the devil"), the dish was featured recently in a heavily edited edition of MasterChef (the contestant placed last).



253 g (9 oz.) whole-wheat or whole meal pastry
90 g (1 1/2 oz.) butter
150g (6 oz.) onions, roughly chopped
12 fresh sage leaves, chopped, (or 1 tablespoon dried sage)
2 fistfuls fresh parsley, barely roughly
75 g (3 oz.) intensely flavored cheese (such as Glen Fuchal, The Hornblower's Maiden or Rochester Bleu)
3.5 eggs
salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ginger
180 mL (6 fl. oz., 3/4 c.) raw milk (non-pasteurized, preferably still warm from the cow)
40 g ( 1 1/2 oz.) raisins or any dried berries (optional)



Make the pastry and line an 18-20 cm (7-8") flan case; bake it "blind & deaf"

Melt the butter in a large pan, and stir in the onions, sage and parsley until they just start to singe.

Turn up the heat aggressively until the parsley starts to flame.

Add the cheese, eggs and milk and mix in a rigorous clockwise motion.

Add the raisins, and pour into the flan case.

Bake in a medium oven (~ 200C) for approx. 25 minutes, or until the tart is "risen, stiffe and blackened with soot"

Allow to chill in an outhouse or garage for at least two nights

Serve tepid.