Tomato tart

It is unseasonably warm this past week-end, so fall food seems out of place. And yet it’s harvest season. So have a compromise : tomato tart. Light and refreshing even when eaten warm.

Ingredients:
1 stick salted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup cold water
4 ripe tomatoes
1/2 red onion
1 teaspoon herbes de provences
1/2 teaspoon vegetable spices (your choice)
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper.
olive oil

ingredients

***

1. Cut the butter into small chunks and put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
butter

2. In a food processor, combine the flour and paprika. Pulse to mix.
pulse1

3. Add the frozen butter. You want to work fairly quickly for this part and keep the dough/butter as cold as possible.
pulse2

4. Pulse a few times, just until the flours and butter reach a mealy texture. it’s fine if small pea sized chunks of butter remain.
pulse3

5. Add the water in 2 steps, pulsing a few times with each addition. You don’t want to overwork it. As soon as it keeps it’s shape when pinched, you are done. It will look kind of pebbly.
pulse4

6. Transfer to a large ziploc bag, pressing down until it forms a ball. Put in the fridge to chill for an hour or so.
ball

7. Once the dough has chilled, turn the oven on to 425F.
Roll out the dough to between 1/4″ to 1/8″ thick.
roll

8. Transfer to a tart dish. Press down at the bottom and in the ceases, make sure it’s well distributed. Any cracks or missing part can be fixed at this point.
roll2

9. Roll over the edge of the dish to trim away the excess dough.
trim

10. Using a fork, prick holes all over the bottom of the dough.
Cut a bit of parchment paper larger then the dish. Put it on the dough and fill with pie weights (or dried beans you don’t intend on cooking).
weights

11. Blind bake with the weights for 10 minutes. Then -carefully- remove the parchment paper and the weights.
blind1

12. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes until golden all over. It will shrink a bit. If you want to minimize that allow more time with the weights.
blind2

13. Allow the crust to cool fully. Turn the oven down to 350F
Once cooled slice the first two tomatoes and layers on the crust.
filling1

14. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 of the onion (so 1/4 red onion) thinly sliced. Slice the two remaining tomatoes and layer on top.
filling2

15. Add the remaining red onion, herbes the provence, spices and sprinkle a pinch of sugar over the whole thing.
*Optional : you can also add a thin stream of good olive oil over everything at this point.
filling3

16. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
baked

17. Remove from the tart dish, slice and enjoy!
serve

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Orzo and tomatoes salad

A nice summer dish, Perfect for a potluck, for a pic-nic or to make easily carried lunches for the office.

Ingredients
500g orzo pasta
1 cup green peas (frozen)
3 bell peppers (varied colors)
1 bundle of green onions
1lb heirloom tomatoes (varied)
1/2 a bundle of parsley
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1/4 cup + 2 table spoon olive oil
2 table spoon red wine vinegar
1 table spoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper
water
ingredients

***

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pour the pasta into the water, stirring to avoid clumping. Cook for 15 minutes or so.
pasta1

2. In the last 2-3 minutes add the frozen peas.
pasta2

3. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
drain

4. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the 2 table spoon of olive oil and allow to cool fully.
cool

5. While the pasta is cooling, cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Grill until softened and nicely charred.
I kept the skin on for a bit of the smokiness, but you can remove it at this stage.
grill

6. Combine the grape seed oil, olive oil, red wine vinegar and dijon mustard.
dressing1

7. Shake well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
dressing2

8. Thinly slice the green onions, both white and green parts and add to the pasta.
green-onions

9. Cut the peppers into a large dice. Add to the orzo.
peppers

10. Chop the parsley and throw it in with the rest.
parsley

11. Cut the tomatoes into quarters (or into eighth if they are on the larger side). Remove the core and add to the bowl.
tomatoes

12. Mix in the dressing in two times to coat evenly.
mix

13. Plate and eat up.
As a side dish would probably feed 10.
As a main meal made for 6 large meals.
plate

Green lentils & Kale

A cheap and easy dish, thrown together with what was lying around in the pantry. And the kale I keep getting from my CSA and needed to use up.

Ingredients :
1 cup green DuPuy lentils
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 large diced tomatoes can
2 cups chicken broth
1 bundle of kale
1/2 tea spoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tea spoon thyme
1/4 team spoon rosemary
2 cloves of garlic
zest and juice of 1 lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper

ingredients

***

1. Warm some olive oil in a large soup pot and sweat the onion for a new minutes.
onions

2. Add the carrots and sweat until they start to soften.
carrots

3. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary and thyme. Take a moment to appreciate how the purple carrot has stained everything else.
spices

4. Add the lentils and stir to coat.
lentils

5. Add the tomatoes.
tomatoes

6. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until the lentils are ready (30-40 minutes).
broth

7. Strip the kale leaves from the stems and tear into bite size.
shred

8. Shove the entire pile of it into the soup pot.
stuff

9. Within a few minutes it will wilt down into near nothingness. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Taste and adjust seasoning.
wilt

10. Serve warm.
bowl

Légumes au Gratin

A nice side dish that goes with pretty much anything. And any vegetable is good, so use what you have on hand.

Ingredients
1 head of broccoli
1 head of cauliflower
3-4 carrots
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tea spoon dry mustard
nutmeg, salt, pepper, cayenne : to taste
a few handful of grated cheese
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Cut the vegetables into bite size and steam until mostly done.
steam

2. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, melt the butter.
butter

3. Add the flour and cook until lightly colored.
flour

4. Slowly add the milk, stirring at the same time to avoid lumps. Season with the dry mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
milk

5. Transfer the steamed vegetables to a small casserole dish.
transfert

6. Pour the bechamel over the vegetables. Add the cheese on top.
sauce

7. Bake for a few minutes, until the vegetables are done. Turn the oven on broil to make the cheese golden. Serve warm.
done

Roasted Pear Salad

A light meal that is filling at the same time. Many contrasting textures in every bite.

Ingredients
1 bunch of salad greens
2 belgian endives
1/4 cup hazelnut nut oil
2 tablespoon white balsamic
1 tablespoon moutarde de meaux
1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
3 pears
4 tablespoon pine nuts
4 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
feta cheese
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Wash and thinly slice the pears. Toss with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread on a baking tray in a single layer.
pears

2. Put in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip the slices gently and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes.
pears2

3. In that time, pour the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds in a cold, dry, stainless steel skillet. Turn the heat to medium and toast the nuts until the pine nuts are golden and the seeds crunchy. Toss often to prevent burning.
nuts

4. Set aside to cool.
nuts2

5. In a mason jar, pour the hazelnut oil, white balsamic, brown sugar, mustard and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
dressing1

6. Shake until well combined.
dressing2

7. Chop the greens. Mine were getting old and tired so I let them to soak in an ice bath while the pears cooked, It makes them crisp again.
greens

8. Take the pears out of the oven and allow to barely cool until you can handle them.
pears3

9. Assemble your plate. Add as much feta as you care for.
salad

Spiced carrot salad

Sweet and spicy Moroccan inspired carrot salad. Leave the confit lemons on the side, so everyone can add as much or as little as they care for.

This is great as a side dish, but would be filling enough for a light meal.

Ingredients
2 meyer lemons
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for lemons
8 rainbow carrots
1/2 red onion, diced
1 handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
2 daches cayenne pepper
orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons pine nuts
ingredients

***

1. Wash the meyer lemons. Slice them thinly and remove any seeds. Cut the slices into quarters. Put in a single layer in a cold skillet and lightly cover with olive oil. Turn the heat on low and cook for 20 minutes or so, or until caramelized.
confit

2. Pour into a serving dish and set aside to cool.
confit2

3. Peel and grate the carrots.
grate

4. Add the red onion and parsley to the bowl.
aromates

5. In a small dry skillet, toast the pine nuts.
toasted-pine-nuts

6. In a bowl, combine all the spices and the pine nuts. Whisk in the orange juice and orange zest. Keep whisking as you pour in the olive oil, to get a nice combined dressing.
dressing

7. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well to coat the carrots. Serve with the lemons.
combine

Garlicky Green Beans

It has been brought to my attention that I never post side dishes. So here we go, a quick and tasty green bean side dish.

Ingredients :
Couple handful of green beans
1-2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper

ingredients

***

1. Warm some oil in a pan on medium heat. Wash and trim the beans and trow into the pan. Cook for a few minutes.
pan1

2. slice the garlic and add to the pan. Lower the heat to low to prevent it from burning and cook until the garlic has turned nicely golden and mellowed out and the beans are done.
pan2

3. Serve warm.
serve