Saturday, April 30, 2011

Green Bean Ricotta Tart

This isn't exactly the prettiest tart I've ever made.  My tart pan was otherwise occupied and I was feeling impatient, so I decided to try it free form.  It was, however, quite tasty.  I decided to improvise a savory whole wheat version of my favorite tart dough.  It turned out quite well and I look forward to using it frequently in the future.

Ingredients for the Tart Shell:
- 6 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

- Combine all ingredients except the flour into an oven safe bowl.
- Put in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove the bowl, add the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough is formed.
- Let the dough cool until it is safe enough to handle.
- Transfer the dough to your tart pan (or baking sheet) and gently press it out and up the sides.
- Prick all over with a fork, especially the corners.
- Return the tart shell to the oven for 10 minutes.
- Let the tart shell cool.

This tart dough is slightly on the crumbly side, but I really liked it as a savory tart base.  While pie dough and puff pastry are decadently flaky, this had a lovely rustic earthiness that I enjoyed.  If I were to make it again, though, I would use a tart pan and keep the sides very thin, eliminate the sides, or make more filling to balance it out.

- Green Beans
- 2 garlic cloves, roasted
- 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp salt, dash of pepper, dash of paprika
- olive oil

- Start by roasting the garlic by wrapping the cloves in tin foil and baking them (in the toaster oven) for about ten minutes.
- Trim the green beans.
- Parboil the green beans for about 2 minutes.  Remove from the water and let cool.
- Stir together ricotta cheese, egg, pepper, and paprika.  Add the garlic, using a garlic press to make sure it is easily mixed in.
- Spread the cheese mix onto the tart shell.
- Gently place the green beans on top of the cheese mix.  No, I didn't spend an hour at the grocery store picking out the straightest green beans I could find.  I did get some extra, though, and left off any of the severely bent.
- Brush the green beans with some olive oil and sprinkle with a little additional salt.
- Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, then pop under the broiler to brown the top.

Serves 4-6 with salad for a meal, or cut smaller for appetizers.


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