Saturday, September 28, 2013

lasagna tart.

last week i had the privilege of attending a cooking class with one of my all-time favorite bloggers: dana of if you ever find yourself in the oakland area, take one of her classes. it involved 3 delightful hours of tasting a bunch of different dishes, sipping wine, chatting with the other students, and absorbing some tiny fraction of dana's expansive culinary knowledge. everyone walked away with a nifty booklet of 5 inspired late summer recipes, from a shaved summer squash salad to a blueberry crisp. i'm a sucker for a good crisp - as evidenced by my last post - but by far my favorite dish we learned was a goat cheese and heirloom tomato tart. i was particularly excited because my sore inability to knead dough (and one especially scarring galette making experience a few years back) has always left me pretty weary of venturing into the world of doughs. but after watching the ease with which dana made, baked, and filled her tart, i decided it was first tart endeavour involved an incredibly simple, whole wheat olive oil crust. the dough comes together in minutes and is sturdy enough for you to transport into the tart pan without having to worry about it falling apart. after refrigerating it for a few hours and baking it 20 minutes, i filled it with layers of caramelized onions, shaved zucchini coins, tomato sauce, and cheese.

i was really pleased with the result. the crust was flakey but not at all crumbly, and the filling held together quite well when i cut into it. if you're looking to venture into the world of tarts, this is a great pilot recipe.

lasagna tart

heavily inspired by 101 cookbooks

tart crust
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

zest of one lemon

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cold water

tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 heirloom tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon salt

2 yellow onions, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil

2 zucchinis or summer squash, sliced into thin coins
1 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup chopped herbs (i used basil, rosemary, thyme, and chives)

1/2 cup grated cheese

preheat the oven to 375F degrees, and place a rack in the middle. get your 10-inch tart pan out.

toss the sliced zucchini with the salt in a colander and let it drain while you make the tart shell, caramelized onions, and tomato sauce. once you’ve let the zucchinis drain, wash them off thoroughly to remove the salt. pat them dry using a paper towel to remove any excess water. set aside.

to make the tart shell combine the flour, salt, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. drizzle the olive oil over the flour and stir that in. now drizzle the cold water over the flour and mix with a fork just until it is absorbed. knead the dough in the bowl one or twice until it comes together into a ball. now lightly flour a flat surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a circle roughly 13-inches across. with great finesse, ease the pastry into your tart pan and press it into the corners and up the sides without stretching the dough. trim away any excess dough, and place the pan in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes (but up to 10 hours).

in the meantime, start caramelizing your onions. add the olive oil to a skillet, then cook the onions on medium high for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. turn the heat down to medium low, and let the onions keep cooking for another 45 minutes. stir them every 5-10 minutes so that they don’t burn, but you do want them charred. once they give off that dark brown, glazed appearance (and your kitchen smells amazing!), you know they’re ready. transfer to a bowl and let cool.

at this point, your dough should be ready to bake. prick the crust with a fork a few times. line the pastry with parchment paper and fill the tart with pie weights. bake for 15 minutes. remove the paper and pie weights, then toast the tart crust in the oven for another five minutes or so before transferring it to a rack to cool. dial the oven temperature down to 350F.

now, using the same skillet you caramelized the onions in, you can make the sauce. add the olive oil to the pan. once hot, add the garlic and cook over medium high for a few minutes. toss in the tomatoes and salt, bring to a simmer, and cook the sauce down a bit, 10 minutes or so. add in the herbs and remove from heat.

when you are ready to assemble the tart, use a spatula to spread the caramelized onions across the bottom layer. arrange the zucchini in a single layer on top of the onions. pour the sauce on top and spread around, then top with the cheese.

place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet - in case you end up with an overflow - and bake for roughly 40 minutes. remove and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.