Thursday, February 25, 2010

Case Study 53: "The Savory Tart"

If it looks like a cupcake and is baked like a cupcake, is it a cupcake?  Though this is not the first savory morsel featured in Cupcaketology, this one's a bit different than the rest.  It's quite the little tart.  

A few weeks ago, I declared war on winter, and since then it's been a major battle with Jack Frost.  Though he might have won by holding my little Jeep hostage on an unplowed street for 2 weeks, I fought back, sipping Dark n' Stormies to a live reggae band, and going on an all out shellfish feast.  But when compromised by never-ending snowflakes and the desire to create while keeping to Lenten promises (read: no sweets, junk, desserts...), sometimes making the everyday meal a little extraordinary is the best weapon of choice.    

Inevitably indoors again today, I put on a little Al Green, and popped open the door to my deck to watch the snow fall.  As lunchtime wandered in, I knew what had to be done.  Up rolled my sleeves and out rolled an olive oil wheat dough as I poured a little glass of afternoon white. 

"The Savory Tart" is just that, savory, full of flavor and vegetables, and topped with cheese and a fresh crackle of sea salt and pepper.  A veritable Red Queen, it is lined by dough hearts and stocked with asparagus, tomatoes and feta cheese.  Perfectly comforting for a wintry day while still being extremely hopeful for alfresco dining in a very few short months.

Though I've just about had it with this weather, I've realized  that this might actually be the end of it until next year, and am finally making the decision to embrace it.  Hell, maybe it's just good old karma telling us that it's about time we slowed things down a bit.  So whip up a few of these tasty puppies and treat yourself well until normal sugar consumption resumes and the sun finally shows its face.  My, what a fine fine day that will be...

"The Savory Tart"
(Makes approximately 12 individual tarts)

Whole Wheat Olive Oil Tart Crust  

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup water

1. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl.
2. Lightly mix in the Olive Oil until just combined.
3. Mix in the water until combined, and using your hands, slowly knead together into a ball.
4. Sprinkle the ball of dough and rolling pin with flour and roll out dough. Cut dough using a 2 inch diameter cup or cutter.
5. Grease one muffin tin very well and press dough into cups, so that the edges come to the top. 
6. Use remaining dough to create decorative cutouts.  

Asparagus, Tomato and Feta Filling

12 Asparagus Stalks, steamed until tender
1 large tomato
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

1. Heat oven to 350.  Chop asparagus and tomato finely, and line in dough-filled muffin cups evenly.
2. Whisk eggs together until mixed, and add in milk, butter, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of feta cheese.
3.  Pour egg mixture over the vegetables, filling the cups 3/4 way up. 
4.  Garnish with remaining feta, salt, and pepper, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until eggs are set. 
5.  Let cool for 5 minutes in the tray, then transfer to a wire rack.
6.  Serve warm, and enjoy.  Summer is right around the bend.

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