It starts with the ingredient and builds from there as it usually does. Look in the fridge and take what’s there, what needs to be used, or better yet, what was most inspiring to you at the Farmer’s Market, and then create a dish, or a menu, from that. That’s how I usually go about cooking.
This particular endeavor was born from a handful of eggs. These beauties are farm fresh, organic, and cage-free (rather, the way eggs are supposed to be!). They are, or were the cutest little things. Au natural, they had pleasantly small yolks, in great contrast to the steroid ridden commercial variety, and their’s were a deeper orange, enriched with nutrients the chickens were able to gain by feeding in real grass on bugs and grubs.
I love the multicolored array that the farmer picked out for this box. One donned a near green hue. Upon cracking and releasing their contents, I noticed a few had a very interesting pattern running alongside the inner shell. Nature is incredible.
With this precious collection of real, and expensive eggs I wanted to create something that gave the eggs the limelight, rather than hiding them within a cookie dough.
I thought of doing a savory quiche-like tart. I based the crust recipe on an olive oil crust found at chocolateandzucchini.com. In my own modification I traded some of the flour out for cornmeal and it boosted the crunch in this tart’s finale.
It’s a very simple crust to make, and can be filled with just about anything. It could become a sweet pie or stay a savory tart, or become a sweet and savory pie-tart. The possibilities are limitless.
In mine today, I added dried rosemary. It beautifully studs the yellow dough, and it really elevates the aromatic effect.
Olive Oil Cornmeal Tart Crust
Heat the oven to 375˚
Mix together 1 C. Flour and 1 C. Fine Cornmeal (Make sure it’s the texture of almost a flour, if not you’re teeth won’t like it!), 1 Tsp. fine grain sea salt and 1 Tablespoon dried herbs (optional/your choice of which ones). Then with a fork combine 1/4 C. Olive Oil to the mixture, and then 1/2 C. Cold Water, raking the dough together with the fork.
It won’t be completely combined, just push it together with your hands on a floured surface and then roll it out. Place it in your tart dish, prick the bottom with a fork a few times and chill for about 15 min. Then place in the oven for 10 min. weighing the tart in the middle with a layer of tin foil and dried beans.
Up the temp. to 400˚ to ready the oven for the next bit of baking.
The beauty of a savory tart is the filling. Again, whatever you have at hand, that your creative itch thinks might work together, go for it! I chose to keep my tart simple, but full. I was interested in layers, imagining the mushrooms representing the meat at the bottom and the other ingredients building up from there, in terms of texture and taste.
Earthy Savory Tart Filling
5 cloves of Young Garlic, 2 medium Yellow Carrots, 7 Crimini Mushrooms, 2 leaves Purple Kale, 1/2 C. Goat Cheese, and 1/2 C. of Parmesean. Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
Also, five beautiful farm-fresh Eggs and 1/2 C. water whisked together
Slice the veggies, turning the kale into bite size pieces. In a heated pan at a dollop of olive oil and throw the carrots in for a few minutes, with a tsp. of sea salt, and tsp. of fresh ground pepper. Add the garlic and stir. When the carrots are halfway cooked throw in the mushrooms and kale and cover to steam. Once the kale has wilted, take the pan off the heat.
Transfer the veggies to the tart crust. Crumble the goat cheese over top with your fingers. Then pour the egg mixture evenly over the whole thing. Grate the parm. over the top and grind a bit more pepper over.
Now, if you want you can place the extra crust dough over the top in any desirable way. I simply added it to the crust’s edge imagining a crust growing over the tart, from the outside in.
Bake for 30 min. Let cool, cut, and serve.
• • •
The young garlic provides the most sensational taste, without being too overpowering. (I love garlic though, so adjust to your liking). The carrots are sweet, but earthy really marrying the mushrooms and the creamy goat cheese in this dish. The black pepper provides a deep layer of flavor that reminds you how wonderful the rosemary is in the crust. And you are pleased with the kale, biting into the tart. Because it’s dark and healthy, providing some lightness.