Thursday, November 08, 2007

Due torte salate

I've been wanting to write this post about savory tarts in a while. I like to make savory tarts. They're super easy and usually impress the guests for how good they taste. They also make a wonderful party food, not messy, and which can be eaten warm or cold.. you may want to think about making one for the next party you're invited!!
I have a few pictures of savory tarts I recently made and I wanted to put them all together for a special issue on the subject.. and just now, Jeanne announced the new theme for 'Waiter, there's something in my..' as being.. Topless tarts! What could be a better occasion to share the recipes and pictures of two 'topless' savory tarts I made? So, here we are: Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart, and Green Beans, Gorgonzola and Cheddar Cheese Tart.

Torta salata con asparagi e formaggio di capra / Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart
This recipe was taken by the great 'San Francisco Flavors' cookbook I love. To make it, you need to have some puff pastry ready. I usually buy the frozen one and thaw it a few hours before I need it. Then I roll it down on a floured surface and I cut enough to cover the baking pan all the way up to the borders, and a little bit more, and I place it on the the buttered and floured baking pan. For this recipe, then, you have to spread 8 oz fresh goat cheese on the dough (or you can finely cut some feta cheese, like I did). On top, add 12 asparagus stalks, cut into 1" pieces (I bought the very thin asparagus you can see in the picture), and small stripes from one bell pepper, previously roasted. Toss one tbsp olive oil on it, add salt and pepper. Fold the borders of the pastry over the topping, and brush them with a mixture of 1 egg yolk beaten with 1/2 tsp water. Bake at 450F for 20 min. The original recipe says to scatter pieces of prosciutto on the tart once cooled down, but due to my semi-vegetarianism, I avoided this part. It was super delicious!

Torta salata con fagiolini, gorgonzola e cheddar / Green beans, gorgonzola and cheddar cheese tart
This is a tart that I made up, according to my mom taught me when I was a child. To make torte salate (savory tarts), in Italy we usually simply beat 2-3 eggs (depending on how eggy you like it) with vegetables or meat of choice (in this case, I had previously cooked some green beans in a pan with olive oil, salt and garlic) and with add whatever type of cheese in the amount we like. This is why I'm saying it's simple to make savory tarts.. In this case, I put a total of 1/2 cup of a mixture of pieces of gorgonzola and cheddar cheese (these were the cheeses I had in the fridge). If you don't like cheese, you can also avoid them at all. Then, you'll need to add some salt (~2 tsp) and pepper to taste. And if you're really into cheese, grate some more parmigiano on top. Pour this mixture in the pastry dough, set in the pan as discussed above, and fold borders on top. My mom used to make her tarts covered (the dough would go on top of the whole tart), but I kind of like to show some of the filling, to tempt the guests. When you're done with this simple preparation, bake at 400F for ~20-30 min (until borders are golden and the stuffing seems firm). Everyone was a big fan of this tart and of its companion which I prepared with zucchini instead of green beans.


Amanda said...

Mmm... looks delicious!

Jeanne said...

Wow! Those look so beautiful - I particularly like the bean and cheddar one. Thanks so much for daring to go topless for this round of WTSIM and apologies for leaving you off the list of entries!