Savory Tarts

2 April 2023

The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts,
All on a summer’s day;
The Knave of Hearts, he stole the tarts,
And took them clean away.

The King of Hearts
Called for the tarts,
And beat the Knave full sore;
The Knave of Hearts
Brought back the tarts,
And vowed he’d steal no more.

A tart is a preparation baked in a shallow, usually round, pan with a single crust on the bottom. It is filled with fruits, custard, cream, or savory items. The crust can be a pastry dough (home made or purchased) but you can easily substitute pizza dough or a flat bread. The crust is often blind baked (baked unfilled) to avoid a soggy crust when filled. A tart can be either sweet or savory, unlike its cousin the quiche, which is always savory. The tart can have a custard-based filling (egg and milk) or simply fruit. A tartlette is a smaller, one or two bite-sized, and served as an appetizer or dessert.

Asiago Beef Tart
• pie crust
• 3/4 pound lean ground beef
• 1 shallot, finely chopped
• 2 large eggs
• 3/4 cup sour cream
• salt and pepper to taste
• 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
• 2/3 cup shredded Asiago cheese
• 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
• 1/4 cup (after chopped) fresh basil, coarsely chopped
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
• 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
• Thinly sliced fresh basil

• Preheat oven to 400°.
• Press crust onto bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 11-in. tart pan with removable bottom. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
• In a large skillet, cook beef and shallots over medium heat 5-7 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles. Remove from heat.
• In a small bowl, whisk eggs, sour cream, salt and pepper until blended. Stir in cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped basil and rosemary. Combine into beef mixture; pour into tart shell.
• Bake on a lower oven rack 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is set. Just before serving, add pine nuts and basil, if desired.

Pesto Chicken Tart
• pie shell
• several cloves garlic, to taste, optional
• 3 heaping tablespoons basil pesto
• 1 cup cooked, diced chicken
• 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
• 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
• salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. If using garlic, place cloves on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until soft and light golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Allow the cloves to cool and then chop finely.
3. Place crust in the tart pan and, using a fork, prick the dough all over—including the edges—to prevent it from puffing during baking.
4. Brush the pesto in a thin layer over the dough. Scatter the roasted garlic across the pesto. Toss the chicken with a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Layer the chicken on the tart, followed by the mozzarella and the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
5. Bake until the the cheese is melted and light golden brown, approximately 15-25 minutes (start checking early). Remove the tart from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Mushroom and Spinach Tart with Cracker Crust
• ½ cup whole wheat flour
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
• ½ tablespoon poppy seeds, optional
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• ⅓ cup water, or as needed
• ½ bunch fresh spinach
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 1 (9 ounce) package mushrooms, sliced
• ¾ cup sour cream
• ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
• 1 egg
• ½ tablespoon dried marjoram
• salt and pepper to taste

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
• Combine whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, flax seeds, poppy seeds, and salt in a medium bowl. Rub in olive oil. Add enough water to make a pliable dough
• Roll out dough on a floured surface and press into an 11-inch tart pan. Poke holes all over with a fork. Bake in the preheated oven until the surface of the crust looks dry, about 15 minutes.
• Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and cool until easily handled; squeeze out all water and chop.
• Heat oil in a large skillet and fry onion for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue sauteeing until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Mix in spinach, sour cream, feta cheese, egg, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Spread the filling over the prebaked tart crust.
• Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F
• Bake tart until the center is set, about 50 minutes.

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