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Food & Recipes

Gravlax & Whipped Chive Mascarpone Tartlettes [1×3 Ways]

Gravlax & Whipped Chive Mascarpone | egg & dart blog

Hello Monday! I have just the little thing to get the week going. This is the second recipe in the series of 1 x 3 ways puff pastry and all three recipes just happen to be perfect for the burgeoning picnic season. Simple little goodies, wonderful cheeses, maybe even some rosé? Yes, picnic season, we’re so happy you’re here!

These little tartlettes are fulled with a cool, airy whipped chive and lemon mascarpone and topped with delicate slices of buttery gravlax and bright, fresh herbs. A sprinkling of cornmeal on the parchment paper before baking gives the pastry and extra little crunch, a wonderful contrast to that fluffy mascarpone. Their flavor belies their simplicity really and if you take the plunge and try your hand at your own gravlax, you’ll be rewarded with a truly lovely little bite.

Pastry | egg & dart blog Pastry | egg & dart blog Gravlax & Whipped Chive Mascarpone | egg & dart blog

There are so many twists you could add to these tartlettes, as well. They are of course inspired by the classic lox and cream cheese bagel, so why not try a little tomato and caper salsa dolloped on top with thin slices of shallot? Or delicate crunchy curls of lemon zest, cut into thin slices and quickly fried crisp in a little olive oil. Try other herbs in the filling, parsley, dill, tarragon? A mix? Or set out the mascarpone filled tartlette shells, the salmon, and any toppings you love and let everyone build their own little bite of summer!

Gravlax & Whipped Chive Mascarpone | egg & dart blog

Gravlax and Whipped Chive Mascarpone Tartlettes

makes 8 tartlettes

Try making your own gravlax for this recipe. I promise: it is easy and can be made ahead! However, assemble the tartlettes as close to serving time as possible to keep the pastry nice and crisp.

– 8  slices gravlax or smoked salmon

– 1 x 250g package of puff pastry (thawed if frozen)

– 1/2 c. mascarpone cheese

– 1 tsp. chopped fresh chives

– 1 t. fresh lemon juice

– zest of half a lemon*

– 2 tbsp. milk

– pinch of salt

– fresh dill, parsley, and/or chives

– a small handful of cornmeal

– olive oil

* Try to get organic when possible, since the zest is being used. Also, if you are a lemon nut like me, feel free to use all the zest!

Preheat the oven to 210°C / 410°F with your baking pan turned upside down in it. Preheating the pan with the oven will give you a beautifully crisp crust and turning the pan upside down will make it easy to slide the finished tartlettes off onto a cutting board. This is the same technique I use for pizza; using a pizza stone if you have one would be fantastic as well.

Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of your baking pan and sprinkle it with the cornmeal. Roll out your pastry on the counter into a rectangle about 1/4 cm / 1/8″ thick. Cut eight circles out of the pastry using a 3 1/2″ diameter circle cutter then, using a fork, prick the pastry all around. Transfer them with a metal spatula to the parchment and gently press to adhere the cornmeal. Drizzle the edges of each tartlette with just a bit of olive oil. Bake until puffed and golden, around ten minutes.

Remove the tartlettes from the oven and, being very careful not to burn yourself, gently press down the center of each to be flat, using a potholder or the bottom of a glass to do this. Let them cool completely.

In a food processor, combine the mascarpone, chives, lemon juice, and zest. Pulse a few times to combine then add the milk and a pinch of salt. Scrape down the sides of the processor and pulse until whipped and airy, a minute or two, scrapping down the sides as necessary. Be sure not to add any more salt, remember that the gravlax is a bit salty and will add to the seasoning of the assembled tartlette.

Gently spread each tartlette shell with the whipped mascarpone. Top with a slice of salmon and a sprinkle of fresh herbs. Serve immediately.

Gravlax & Whipped Chive Mascarpone | egg & dart blog

See the first recipe in the series here: Roasted Red Pepper & Tapenade Tart

Next week, a sweet ending to the first installment of this series.

xo,

A.

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Food & Recipes

Roasted Red Pepper & Tapenade Tart [1×3 Ways]

Red Pepper and Tapande Tart |egg & dart blog

In the U.S. today is Memorial Day and in France it is Pentecost Monday but I think either place, it is officially picnic season! So I’ve got the perfect recipe for you to bring along to those picnics – easy, brightly flavorful, and quick!

This is the first recipe in a new series: 1 X 3 Ways. The idea is to offer up some of my simple ways of using the same element to make very different dishes. I often throw together easy meals using bits and pieces I find in the fridge or cabinets and simple is often times the best kind of meal! So this series will bring you three different riffs on one ingredient, starting with puff pastry today.

Red Pepper and Tapande Tart |egg & dart blog

Roasted Red Peppers |egg & dart blog

Here’s the thing, I hesitate to call this a recipe it is so simple! But that is part of what is so delightful about it, you don’t have to spend forever in the kitchen for big flavor. Using bright basil and green olive tapenade and sweet roasted red peppers makes a humble tart with lots of interesting dimension. Generous amounts of fresh basil before serving make it sing! I love this kind of savory tart with other little treats, cheeses and cured meats and pickled things, served with a simple green salad and a glass of rosé you’ll have the absolute perfect lazy summer evening meal!

Red Pepper and Tapande Tart |egg & dart blog

Roasted Red Pepper & Tapenade Savory Tart

Serves 4

If you can’t find basil and green olive tapenade, which I realize is quite specific, look for any green olive tapenade as the traditional black olives would be too strong here.

– 1 x 250g package of puff pastry (thawed if frozen)

– 1 – 2 roasted red peppers, depending on their size, cut into thin strips

– 2 1/2 tbsp. basil and green olive tapenade

– 60g fresh mozzarella, half an average sized mozzarella ball

– olive oil

– a good handful of fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 210°C / 410°F with your baking pan turned upside down in it. Preheating the pan with the oven will give you a beautifully crisp crust and turning the pan upside down will make it easy to slide the finished tart off onto a cutting board. This is the same technique I use for pizza; using a pizza stone if you have one would be fantastic as well.

Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of your baking pan and lightly flour it. On the parchment, roll out your pastry into a rectangle about 1/2 cm / 1/4″ thick. Being careful not to cut through the pastry, lightly score 1 cm / 1/2″ in from the edge all the way around then, using a fork, gently prick the center section of the pastry all around to prevent air bubbles.

Spread the tapenade over the center of the pastry (inside the lines you scored) with the back of a spoon. Arrange your pepper slices on top however you like, either randomly or in a loose pattern like I did. Top with the mozzarella torn into pieces and drizzle the tart and edges with a tiny bit of olive oil.

Using a small cutting board slid under the parchment to help you lift it, transfer the tart to the pan in the oven, taking care not to burn yourself! Bake until puffed and golden and most of the moisture released by the cheese has disappeared, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven by sliding the parchment and tart onto a cooling rack or cutting board and let cool to just warm. Top with a generous amount of fresh basil and enjoy!

While this tart can be made ahead, I would definitely recommend making it the day of because refrigerated it losses all its lovely crispness.


I’ll have a second recipe for you in the series next week. In the meantime, are there any ingredients you’d be interested in seeing used three ways? I’m curious to hear what you think.

xo,

A.

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The Rain and Light, the In Between Season

I come from a place where the autumn season is full of vivid colors against a bright blue sky and crisp sea air. But Paris has a very different style when it comes to this season. The summer ends and the gray and rain begin. It sounds all doom and gloom but there are days of beautiful sun, days when we blink because our eyes had gotten used to the gray, we just have to survive days upon days of drizzle to enjoy them. It isn’t an easy change for me and sometimes I catch myself starting to dread what has always been my favorite season.

But there are graces. Vivid potimarron squashes and fresh hazelnuts and walnuts start to appear on marché tables. Figs and Muscat grapes and wild mushrooms. While I was making my shopping list for the week, I found myself finally getting excited about these flavors, the evidence that the season was changing, and I wanted some wild mushrooms. The days of rain sprinkled with beautiful clear days are surely good for their numbers. Something to get excited about.

The rain and our poor feet that were tired of getting soaked kept us from the market Sunday. Anyway, you know I have to work on emptying my fridge! But I was anxious to grab some mushrooms at the market on Wednesday because I knew just what I wanted to do with them. A galette with earthy chard and creamy goat’s cheese to accent the mushrooms. And a crust with hazelnut flour? It could only be good to have all these seasonal flavors together.

As I waited my turn at the marché, looking at every kind of mushroom on the table and trying to decide on the best ones, I spotted some heirloom tomatoes on the back table. Not many of them, but beautiful black ones and green zebras. They are the very last I thought. For this season in transition, mushrooms and heirloom tomatoes side-by-side. Just for a little while. So I couldn’t resist them. Who knows exactly how long until they are ready again next summer. So here is our dinner for a season fading into another. For getting excited for Autumn. Wild Mushroom, Swiss Chard, and Chevre Galette. Rather nice with a simple heirloom salad for a friend.

Wild Mushroom, Swiss Chard & Chevre Galette

for the pastry:

3/4 c. all purpose flour

1/2 c. hazelnut flour (or replace with same of all-purpose)

8 tbsp / 115g cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 tsp. sea salt

4 – 5 tbsp. ice water

for the galette:

1/2 pound swiss chard or spinach, well washed and stems removed

2 shallots, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, brushed clean with a dry brush and large ones cut into thick slices

3 oz. / 90 g chevre (semi-aged, not the fresh creamy kind)

olive oil

butter

parsley to serve

1. To make the pastry, gather the butter, flours, and salt in a bowl or a food processor. Cut the butter into the flour until combined and the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing just enough for the dough to come together and form a ball. Gently form the dough into a disk on a floured plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

2. In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the shallots. Sauté until they are softened and becoming translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds until it is fragrant. Add the chard and cover the pan until the chard has wilted. Remove the cover and continue to sauté until the extra liquid in the pan has evaporated.  Transfer the chard mixture to a colander, press with the back of a spoon to squeeze out any excessive moisture and then leave to cool.

3. Wipe out the pan and heat again over medium-high heat. Add enough butter to just coat the bottom of the pan and add some of the mushrooms in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd the pan, you can cook the mushrooms in several batches. Resist the urge to move the mushrooms around and let them cook until golden, 3 – 4 minutes, then flip them to do the same to the other side. Remove the mushrooms to a dish and continue in this manner until all the mushrooms are sautéed and golden, adding a bit more butter as needed. Once they are finished, toss with a little salt and pepper to taste.

4. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge and, on a piece of baking parchment, roll into a roughly 12 inch circle. Spread the chard evenly around the center of the circle, leaving enough of a border to fold up. Crumble 2 oz. / 60 g of the chevre over the chard. Add the mushrooms on top, slightly heaped in the center. Crumble the last 1 oz. / 30 g of chevre around the top. Gently bring up the sides of the pastry, gently pinching to close where it overlaps itself.
Slide the galette onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180° C / 350° F.

5. Bake the galette until the crust and filling are starting to turn golden on the edges, 30 – 45 minutes.  Serve warm or room temperature, sprinkled with chopped parsley.

xo,

A.

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Bursts of Living and a Roasted Vegetable and Chevre Tart with Herb Salad

I crave interesting flavor. I think I always have because I was the kid that didn’t buy lunch at school and came with a bag packed with such exotic things as tabbouleh and who loved lobster before she could walk. (Actually, that last one may be because I am a Mainer, but still.) There are days when I just need something that is complex but not fussy, something that you taste and know that you are alive. Those little bursts of flavor, of living.

Herbs do that for me. Amazing little leaves with such a wide variety of character. And I use them everywhere I can. In the herbed gnudi with parsley, dill, and chives below, in pureed soups of chervil, or tarragon, basil, and mint mixed into a quinoa, tomato, and feta salad. Mixing them in unexpected combinations makes the possibilities endless and I find that leafy herbs play nicely together and woody herbs, likewise, play nicely together. Of course, you wan always taste them before adding.

One of my go-to recipes for summer is a wonderful tart of tomatoes and goat cheese in a flaky pastry. It’s always refreshing and never disappoints. When the weather went into an end of summer hot streak, I pulled the fresh summer vegetables we had from the fridge and roasted them simply. I knew they’d be a perfect variation on that summer favorite. But I wanted it to stand out even more and served it with a lightly dressed salad of fresh herbs on top. It was perfect. Everyone can help themselves to how ever much of the salad they like, if they are adventurous and want a lot like me, or if they want a little less like R. This is exuberant summer in a tart.

Roasted Vegetable and Chevre Tart with Herb Salad

Serves 6

For the Pastry:

1 1/4 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary or chives

8 tbsp. cold butter, cut into smaller pieces

4-5 tbsp. ice water

  1. Place the butter, flour, salt, and minced herb in a bowl and cut the ingredients together with a pastry cutter or with the tips of your fingers. Work until just combined and add the ice water one tbsp at a time, mixing gently with a fork, until the mixture comes together and doesn’t crumble when you pinch a piece together between thumb and index finger. Gather gently into a ball and flatten into a disk. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

For the Filling:

1 small eggplant, washed and sliced into 1/4″ thick slices

1 small zucchini, washed and sliced into 14/” thick slices

1 red bell pepper, washed, seeded, and sliced into 6 pieces lengthwise

2 small heirloom tomatoes, washed and sliced in half lengthwise

3 tbsp. olive oil

200 g / 7 oz. fresh soft goat cheese

 sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Place the vegetables , tomatoes cut side up, on a roasting pan. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, using more if necessary but don’t drench the eggplant, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven until them are golden and soft, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. Turn the oven heat down to 375°F/190°C. Remove pastry from the fridge and set onto a well floured work surface. With a rolling pin, roll pastry into a circle about 1/4″ thick. Gently fold the dough in half and lay over half of a 9″ removable bottom tart pan. Unfold the dough to cover the pan, fit the dough down into the pan, and trim off any excess around the edges. Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork.
  3. Crumble the goat cheese into the tart crust, making sure to distribute it evenly across the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake the tart shell in the oven until golden, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  5. Arrange the roasted vegetables over the top of the tart shell.

For the Herb Salad:

1 1/2 c. mixed fresh herbs, such as chervil, dill, and chives, washed

1 tbsp. olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Prepare the herbs but chopping to large pieces, the size of baby lettuce leaves. Place them in a bowl and lightly dress with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, tossing gently with you fingertips to coat the herbs.
  2. Pile the salad in the center of the roasted vegetable tart and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

xo,

A.

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