Sunday, July 10, 2011

savory french tarts

difficulty rating: rolling in her grave
this is my new favorite throw-together dinner for the summer. it lends itself to whatever you have on hand and fairly bursts with rich flavor.

decide on a crust-i like puff pastry but i've also used several layers of philo, pre-bought or homemade pie crusts, whatever you've got around that resembles pastry. depending on what it is and if you think it'll go soggy you may want to blind bake it for a few min before adding toppings. sometimes i do this in a pie plate and sometimes just on a cookie sheet depending on how many toppings i'm trying to corral.

layer on some fresh veggies-i like good ripe tomatoes and fresh spinach but i've also used peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, use whatever you've got that is colourful and tastes great. if you had cooked meats on hand you could add prosciutto or crumbled sausage or something.

be heavy handed with the aromatics-raid the herb garden and throw on a good handful of whatever you have on hand. dill, basil, rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme, or all of the above. fresh is better then dried by a long shot. i don't usually use garlic but i see no reason why you couldn't. roasted would be especially nice. a good grinding of black pepper is nice too.

find some cheese-good strong stuff like chevre or good parmesan or blue, you don't need a ton so use up that little chunk of good stuff left over from your last party. i sometimes add a bit of mozza or other mild cheese as well if i have any.

if it looks really dry and falling apart i sometimes pour a beaten egg over the whole thing to hold it together

layer it all in your crust in whatever order you think is pretty and bake at around 350-375 for some 25 min or until your crust is cooked and your cheese is melted

serve with wine and salad or soup. now you know how to cook like a french peasant!