Winter and early spring visits to the farmers markets around town have us obsessing about vegetable tarts. We started out thinking of the quintessential tomato pie, the kind we used to crave in the mid-west in August, brimming with juicy Big Boys and fresh-picked sweet summer corn.
But this weekend we were captured by the mixed fingerling potatoes, rainbow chard and baby leeks and we veered in a direction we didn't intend to go. That change of heart is the spontaneous beauty of shopping for locally grown seasonal produce and proved to us the versatility of our vegetable tart.
versatile tart recipe after the jump
This tart is filled with purple fingerlings boiled with garlic and rosemary and rainbow chard sautéed with shallots and baby leeks. We added a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and minced thyme along with crumbled goat cheese. As the season changes we can change up the filling. Our advise, create a pie as you like it, but take advantage of what our local growers have to offer and make it a seasonal delight.
Fingerling Potato, Rainbow Chard and Baby Leek Tart
This recipe works well for pies and tarts. Use the same recipe to make a sweet pie, just add 2 teaspoons of sugar to the flour and salt. The dough can be made by hand, in a mixer or food processor. If mixing by machine, use short pulses for a food processor, and slow speed for mixer. Take care not to overwork the dough.
2 cups unbleached AP flour
1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/3 cup shortening, chilled and cut into pieces
¼ cup ice water
1. Measure the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the cubed butter and shortening pieces. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter and shortening into the flour. Use your fingertips to rub the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Make a small indentation in the center of the mixture, gradually add one half of the chilled water and mix quickly with pastry cutter or two knives. Press a small amount of dough together with fingers, it should feel soft not sticky. If the dough does not hold together, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
3. With your hands, bring the dough together into a ball. Flatten the ball into a round disc, and wrap with plastic wrap.
4. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes until firm.
Preheat oven to 400 F
5. Remove dough from plastic wrap. Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour. Roll dough into a 1/8- inch thick circle, about 2 inches wider than the tart pan. Place dough in the pan, leaving a ½ inch overhang. Fold the excess overhang back and pinch to flute the edges.
6. Place a parchment or foil lining over the dough and fill with dry beans or pie weights. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Blind bake the tart dough for 20 minutes.
Remove the liner and the weights and continue to bake until golden brown, 10-20 minutes.
2 bunches baby leeks, sliced
1 large shallot, chopped
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch Rainbow Chard, rinsed and chopped
8 oz fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
1 sprig rosemary
2 cloves garlic
4 oz goat cheese
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional-sour cream or crème fraiche
1. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan with rosemary sprig and garlic cloves. Cover the potatoes with cold water, and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, drain and cool.
2. Heat a sauté pan; add the butter and olive oil. When butter has melted, add the leeks, sauté for 2 minutes, and add the chopped shallot. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the rainbow chard and cook until slightly wilted. Season with the salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Spread the Dijon mustard on the bottom of the tart crust. Generously layer the wilted chard mixture and top with the fingerling potatoes and goat cheese. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
4. Bake until cheese is soft and begins to brown. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme leaves or top with sour cream or crème fraiche.