Savory Spring Tarts

Sometimes for a cooking class I make the same dish several…read that many times to get just the recipe I’m looking for.  Lately, I’ve been looking for just the tart to usher in spring vegetables.  A flaky short crust was the first thing in order, I have an old spring vegetable tartstandby recipe that I love, so that part was easy.  The flavorful vegetables needed a bit more of a savory richness in a crust, so I added a bit of buckwheat flour (a deep flavorful flour common in France and Eastern Europe), the first attempt had a bit too much, so I backed up to 1/4 of the total volume of flour.

We keep a gluten free home, so the remainder of the flour I used is a rice/sorghum mix I’m fond of, however I’ve used this same recipe MANY times over the years with all purpose wheat flour to great success.  I brightened up the crust with the rind of a lemon as well.

Next, consideringzuchini tart the vegetables, I don’t want this tart to be a huge hassle.  No roasting the veggies ahead, etc.  I do think that the mushrooms and leeks or onions benefit from a few minutes in the saute pan, but that’s the only extra dish I’m willing to wash my friends!!

Just as important as the vegetables is the filling of the tart.  I wasn’t looking for a quiche, so cheese seemed like the perfect glue.   I was hoping for a simple and delicious tart, not overly fussy so not too many types of hard to find or expensive cheeses.  I tried cheeses like Gruyere or petit basque, whole milk yogurt, but the hands down winner was soft goat cheese with some garlic and fresh herbs stirred through. It makes a soft pillowy and creamy base for the herbs and veggies.

Paired with a green salad or a cup of soup (creamy carrot would be a perfect foil) this is a wonderful lunch or light alfresco dinner.  Served in small wedges you could serve this as an great appetizer.

 

Spring Vegetable Tart with Goat cheese

  • 1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6-7 tablespoons ice water

In a bowl or a food processor, mix together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter cubes, and either cut in with pastry cutter or pulse the butter in the food processor until the mixture looks like dense cornmeal.  Add the water 1 Tbs. at a time and mix, adding more water as needed until the dough comes together. It should be moist but not sticky. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes or more. Can be made ahead, and even frozen.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a well floured surface, roll out the dough so that it fits into a 10 in a  tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick the bottom of the crust.
Line the crust with foil or parchment paper, add pie weights, beans, or sugar and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and proceed with recipe.

Tart Filling

  • 6 ounces mushrooms of choice, cleaned, tough stems removed, and sliced
  • 1 medium leek, dark stems removed, cleaned and chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus or baby zucchini cleaned, trimmed, and sliced
  • 8 oz soft goat cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tb olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Melt butter in a large skillet, Add the leeks, mushrooms, 1/2 tsp. of the salt, and 1/4 tsp. of the pepper. Sauté until leeks are soft, and mushrooms start to brown, about 5 minutes. Place mixture in a bowl to cool for 15 minutes. Add the asparagus or zucchini, salt and pepper and mix well.   Mix the goat cheese with the garlic, herbs, and olive oil. Spread the cheese filling in the tart shell, top with the vegetable mixture and bake until brown and bubbly, about 25-30 minutes.

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