Savory Vegetable Tart Redux

Last weekend, I wanted to try my savory vegetable tart recipe in a Springform pan, as I had seen on a few websites.  The pastry recipe was exactly the same.  As for the filling, I used one less egg, omitted the fennel, and omitted the goat cheese for this version (having both goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes made for a saltier tart than I prefer).  It worked out great, although I would probably reduce the quantity of pastry dough on the sides of the tart as it was a little thick and made a serving rather heavy.  This version also required a bit more time in the oven.

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Simple and Healthy Spanish Tortilla

Or maybe it’s a frittata.  I’m not really sure.  After perusing several websites, I’m even more confused.  Could be a difference in ingredients, could be a difference in how the eggs are combined with the other ingredients, could be a difference in whether they are finished by flipping them in the pan or under a broiler.  Don’t know, don’t care.  Here’s my easy and healthy version which uses less oil than the more traditional recipes.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

3 small onions,halved and thinly sliced

3 medium potatoes, 3/4 inch dice

8 eggs, beaten

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

1.  Place potatoes in a large microwave-safe bowl and add water until just covered.  Microwave for 6 minutes.  Mix gently and continue cooking in a microwave oven for another 3 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender.  Drain and set aside.

2.  While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a large, oven-safe skillet.  Saute the onions until they are tender (I like to keep mine going until they are just starting to brown around the edges).  Add the cooked potatoes, salt and pepper and combine.  Shake the pan to distribute the fillings evenly.

3.  Pour the eggs over the fillings in the skillet, and tilt the skillet to make sure the eggs are distributed throughout the skillet.  Cook on medium heat until the eggs are set around the edges and still a little fluid in the center.

4.  Remove the skillet from the stovetop and place under a broiler.  Broil until the top of the tortilla is fluffy and just starting to brown.  Remove from broiler and set aside to cool.

5.  Cut into wedges (for meals) or bite-sized pieces (for buffets/appetizers).  Serve with soup or salad on the side for a complete meal.

Savory Vegetable Tart

Ingredients & Directions

For the tart shell (can be prepared up to a day before and refrigerated):

3 cups all-purpose flour

15 tbsp unsalted butter (1 and 7/8 sticks), room temperature

6 tbsp ice water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, butter, salt and sugar, using your fingers, until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.  (Alternatively, pulse ingredients together in a food processor until it resembles coarse bread crumbs).

2.  Slowly add the ice water, adding just enough to allow the dough to combine.  Shape the dough into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (and up to 24 hours).

3.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Remove the dough from the fridge and separate into two pieces, one using about 2/3 of the dough and the other the remaining 1/3 of the dough.  Roll out the larger piece of dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.  The dough should be about a quarter of a inch thick or slightly less.  Place over a 9-inch tart or pie pan (I prefer the pie pan as it is deeper) and shape to the pan.  Cut the excess dough from around the edges, leaving about 1/2 an inch.  Turn the overhang inwards and crimp the edges.  Repeat with the remainder of the dough, using a smaller tart or pie pan, or mini tart pans.  (I had enough dough for four mini tart pans.)

4.  Cover with foil or parchment paper, using pie weights or dried beans to hold the foil/paper down and keep the center of the dough from puffing up too much.  Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes, until the bottom of the dough is lightly baked through.  Remove the pie weights and foil/paper.  Continue baking for another 15 to 25 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden brown.  Keep an eye on the mini tart pans, if you use them, as the crust will bake faster and may brown too much.  When done, remove from oven and set aside to cool.  Can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before assembling the tart.

 

For the filling (all but the egg mixture can be prepared up to a day before):

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into quarters lengthwise

1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into quarters lengthwise

2 small onions, thinly sliced

1 bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced

2 red potatoes, washed well and cut into a 3/4 inch dice (does not need to be peeled)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup ricotta cheese

4 eggs

3 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)

1 tsp dried red chilli flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Spread the seeded and quartered bell pepper slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.  Heat under a broiler until the skin is blistered and charred and the peppers are mostly cooked through (15 to 20 minutes).  Remove from the oven.  Place the bell pepper pieces in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  After about 15 minutes, remove the plastic wrap.  The steam created in the bowl should have softened the skins.  Peel and discard the skins, chop the peppers into 1/2 inch x 1 inch strips and set aside.

2.  Saute the onions, fennel, 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in olive oil, until the fennel is just softened and the onion begins to caramelize.  Remove from heat and set aside.

3.  Place the potatoes in a microwave safe bowl, along with a 1/2 cup of water.  Microwave on high until the potatoes are just tender.  Drain the water and set aside.

4.  Prepare the egg filling just before you are ready to assemble the tart.  Beat together the 4 eggs and 1 cup of ricotta cheese, along with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, red chilli flakes and 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme.

 

To put it all together:

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Layer the onion/fennel mixture, bell peppers and potatoes in the tart shell(s).  Make sure you pour out any excess water.  Sprinkle the feta cheese on top.  Pour the egg/ricotta mixture evenly over the vegetables and feta.  Sprinkle the sun-dried tomatoes on top.

2.  Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes, until the egg/ricotta filling has set and the crust is golden brown.  If the crust browns faster than the egg sets, simply crimp some aluminum foil over the crust to protect it from the heat while the egg cooks.

3.  Allow to set at room temp for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

It’s So Easy, Being Green… With Kale Pie In The Oven

We’ve been on a kale kick the past few weeks.  Kale has been leaping into soups, salads and, today, into a savory pie that’s great for brunch or lunch or dinner.  I saw a great recipe online at Serious Eats and tweaked it based on the contents of our fridge.

 

Ingredients

1 medium bunch of kale, thinly sliced (a chiffonade, if you prefer)… it comes out to about 6 tightly packed cups

2 cups bok choy, thinly chopped

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

2 to 4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup chopped herbs (I used parsley, thyme and chives)

3 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup non-fat yogurt

1/3 cup low fat ricotta cheese

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan.  Add the onions and saute for a few minutes over medium heat.  Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add the kale in batches, adding more as it reduces.  Cook until the kale is cooked through and fully reduced, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

3.  While the kale is cooking, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, ricotta and mayonnaise.  Now add the dry ingredients (baking powder, salt and flour) and whisk until well combined.

4.  Pour half the batter into a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Spread the kale mixture over this.  Sprinkle the crumbled hard boiled eggs over this.  Top with the remaining batter, using a spatula to gently spread the batter until it covers the filling completely.

5.  Bake in a 375F oven for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden.

6.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  Serve warm.

Savory Bread Pudding (Vegetarian)

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Ingredients

1 loaf multigrain bread
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb mushrooms (any type, or a mix), sliced
2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 or 2 bell peppers (red or green, or one each), cut into 2 inch strips
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
8 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups milk (I used skim)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Cut the bread into medium pieces (crouton size). Spread them on a cookie sheet and bake in a 300 degree oven until just crisp on the outside.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

2. Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms, garlic, onions and celery in the olive oil and butter in a hot frying pan.  Add thyme, salt and pepper.  Saute until most of the liquid has evaporated from the pan.

3. Beat the eggs, heavy cream and milk in a very large bowl. Add the parsley and breadcrumbs and mix well. Allow to sit in refrigerator for about 15 minutes or until bread has absorbed much of the egg mixture.

4. Add the sauteed veggies and mix gently. Empty into one or two deep oven safe dishes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until it is just set in the middle.

5. Serve warm with either soup or salad on the side.