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Posts Tagged ‘Goat Cheese’

A quick stroll through my dessert and cookie sections pretty much confirms that I have an insatiable sweet tooth.  Even so, when we go to our near-by patisserie, I choose a savory bite almost every time.  And if they’ve made a savory tartlet, my decision is easy.  Thankfully, I now have a recipe to make these little beauties at home– and this is one of the best tartlets I’ve ever had.

This wonderful, firm but flakey crust is made from olive oil rather than butter.  It lends a light floral, almost earthy, quality to the dish. Even though it is not par-baked, the crust becomes perfectly crispy on the outside, yet is still substantial enough to hold up to the liquid center.  Even after days in the refrigerator, the crust has an excellent texture.  And you know what that means– this is a great dish to make ahead of time.

The savory filling contains ramps, gouda, and goat cheese.  That’s right, it’s ramp season.  Remember last year when I was so excited and made this ramp pesto?  Well, I’m just as excited this year– and Radd is again making fun of the fact that I talk about ramps far too much.  If you don’t recall, or are unfamiliar with them, ramps are basically a wild leek.  They taste a bit like green onions combined with garlic.  If you find them, buy and enjoy them right away.  They’re not in season for long.  If you can’t find ramps, substitute green onions or leeks with a couple cloves of garlic.  It will still taste amazing.  I love the combination of ramps and goat cheese, and in this dish it really shines.  The goat cheese is soft and pillowy as you bite into the tartlet, while the gouda melts into the creamy center.  Enjoy!

The Recipe:  Ramp and Goat Cheese Tartlets

(Makes six 4-inch tarts or one 9 – 10-inch tart)

For the Savory Tart Dough:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup olive oil

For the Tart Filling:

about 1  1/4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

about 1  1/2 ounces gouda, grated

3 ramps, chopped (about 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon)

4 eggs

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

To make the Savory Tart Dough:  Place both flours, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.  Add the eggs and olive oil and pulse about 10-15 times until the dough forms a ball.  Remove dough and place on a lightly floured work surface.  Knead  3-4 times, careful not to over work the dough.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.   Can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen.  The dough will defrost quickly at room temperature when you are ready to use it.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Position rack in the center of the oven.  If making tartlets, measure out the dough into 6 equal portions, about 1  7/8 ounces each.  Roll the dough in a circle 1-inch larger than the tartlet pan or just press the dough evenly into the pans.  Distribute the goat cheese, gouda, and ramps evenly between the 6 pans.  In a small bowl, combine the eggs and cream and pour over each of the tarts, careful not to over fill them.

Place tartlets on a baking sheet and put into the oven.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the filling is puffed and becoming golden brown, as well.  Serve the tartlets warm or at room temperature.  They keep well for about 3 days in a covered container in the refrigerator and can be reheated in a 350°F oven.  Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche, if desired. Enjoy!

Source:  Olive Oil Crust adapted from Nick Malgieri’s How to Bake

Thanks for stopping by!

Laurie

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I spent a fair amount of time this season talking food with friends old and new.  Along with discussing recipes and how to prepare food, we talk about what we like, and what we don’t.  Inevitably, I bring up beets– one of my favorites.  I’ve been a bit surprised to find that people either love beets or hate them.  There seems to be no middle ground.  But I have a theory here– that people only think they despise this lovely vegetable.  If you fall on the side of those who don’t appreciate these deep-crimson beauties, I have a question.  Have you ever eaten a fresh beet?  Because like all foods, an opinion based on a grocery store canned good doesn’t count.  If your experience is based on those sad, flavorless little cubes poured into a bowl, you have to give this recipe a try.  It’ll change your mind.  And if you already love beets, add this fantastic dish to your salad repetoir.

Obviously I love fresh beets.  Every time I cut into one, revealing its brilliant, deep red, I smile.  This color happens naturally!  Amazing.  Fresh beets are slightly sweet, with delicious earthy undertones.  They have a lovely crunch when eaten raw and a tender silkiness when cooked.  My favorite way to eat beets is roasted and unpeeled, baked in the oven, and then tossed with a bit of olive oil.  Of course, they shine in soups as well.  Here, I’ve used them as the centerpiece for this fantastic salad.  How’s that for versatility?

This beet salad is so simple, yet it will blow your mind.  The dark and viscous spicy sweet balsamic dressing is a standout made specifically to pair with the beets.  It’s one of the most unique dressings you’ll ever taste– very intense, explosive flavors.  The creamy cheese provides balance to the acidity of the dressing, and adds that additional layer of complexity that I think most salads need.  And the crunch from the toasted nuts is a nice textural addition.  It’s fantastic served with greens, or as a stand alone.  Enjoy!

The Recipe: Roasted Beet Salad

6 medium beets, roots and tops trimmed

Olive oil to coat

1/2 cup walnuts (or pecans), toasted

1/2 cup good quality goat or blue cheese, crumbled  ( I’ve had it with both cheeses, go for the blue)

Handful of leafy greens

Dressing:

1 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced to 1/3 cup

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Toss beets in olive oil to coat.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place beets on baking sheet and roast until tender, about 35-45 minutes.  Let cool.

Combine ingredients for dressing together.  Set aside.  Toast nuts by placing in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently.  When nuts become fragrant, remove from heat, about 4-5 minutes.

When beets are cool, peel and cut into wedges.  Place on top of a bed of greens.  Sprinkle with cheese and toasted nuts.  Drizzle the dressing over the top.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Nosh Restaurant via The Minnesota Homegrown Cookbook

Thanks for stopping by today!  Have a great weekend.

Laurie

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