“You should try Home Grown Harvest, too,” the publicist for Ryland, Peters and Small said to me. She was being so cooperative and charming.
I had called her to get some samples of baking books, books filled with warm, gooey, sugary things. And here she was telling me that I ought to consider vegetables.
“Okay,” I said to be polite. “But, you know it’s not the season for a lot of home grown stuff. Maybe I won’t be able to blog until springtime.”
“That’s fine,” she said. “Whenever.”
I think she knew in advance what would happen as soon as I opened this book. Her shipment came, I unpacked it, and I began scanning the seven terrific books from this outstanding publisher. There were six sugary books there — which are great and which I will begin blogging this weekend — and then there was Home Grown Harvest.
Few books deserve to be called brilliant. This is one of them. Organized by main ingredient, it’s an easy guide to using the bounty from your home garden, a farmers market, or even from your grocery store in mid-winter. You have carrots? Just turn to those pages devoted to orange treats.
If you do grow your own vegetables, if you have carefully tended and weeded and chased away rabbits [or possibly saved those rabbits for dinner!], then your boutique produce deserves greatness and greatness is what comes in the recipes in this book.
On December 30, I already blogged about the Syrian red pepper dip, Muhammara, in this book. This dip may be unfamiliar to you but it is instantly addictive. This tart is a further example of new combinations that you surely have never encountered. When was the last time you ate a parsnip? Be honest. Ever?
After this tart, you’ll be a parsnip partisan. Home Grown Harvest is packed with recipes that are “different.” And, distinctive, easy to prepare, and sure to please. There are over 150 treats just waiting for you.
Suzen is equally enthusiastic about this book, too. We have it in New York City at Cooking by the Book and are integrating the recipes into our cooking school program. Suzen sees these recipes as sure to please students and boost their confidence to keep on cooking at home. With Home Grown Harvest.
Honey Roasted Parsnip, Carrot and Shallot Tart
Yield: serves 6-8
Ingredients for the Tart Filling:
- 3 carrots, sliced on the diagonal
- 3 parsnips, cut into matchsticks
- 6 shallots, halved or quartered, depending on their size
- 1 tablespoon runny honey
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- ⅔ cup Greek yogurt
Ingredients for the Spelt Pizza Dough Crust:
- 1 ⅔ cups spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon quick-acting dry yeast
- dry yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup warm water
- One 9-inch loose based tart pan, greased
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Put the carrots, parsnips, and shallots in a roasting pan. Add the honey, oil, salt, and pepper and toss until evenly coated. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, leave covered, and let cool or 10-15 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
To make the pastry dough, mix the flour, yeast, and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the oil, egg, and water. Draw everything together with your hands until you get a soft dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If it’s sticky, add a little flour and knead again. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until ⅛ inch thick. Line the tart pan with the dough but do not trim the edges yet.
Mix ⅔ cup of the cheese into the roasted vegetables.
Mix together the yogurt and remaining cheese in a bowl, then spoon into the tart crust.
Scatter the roasted vegetables over the yogurt, spreading them evenly. Now trim the excess pizza dough neatly around the edges.
Bake in the hot oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Source: Home Grown Harvest
Here’s an elegant way to serve potatoes and tomatoes in a tart with with a crust that adds the flavor overtones of Parmesan and chili. “Tart” is, for me, a special word. It always seems to denote something special, something personal, something with a twist that will make me smile. This tart is exactly that lovely treat. There is a dash of richness from the creme fraiche, overtones from sea salt, and a chile hit.
This tart consists of a tomato base topped with potato slices. You can artfully arrange those slices in different patterns and perhaps top with some additional chili flakes or herbs.
This tart takes a bit of effort, but you’ll truly appreciate the results. It can be a side dish, but has the substance of a main course. Try this on a Sunday afternoon. Let the ballgames play out on television while you focus on something sure to be a success. [This blog was written by a New York Giants fan after three consecutive losses. I need, and deserve, serious comfort food.]
Chile Potato Tart
Yield: Makes 6 servings
- 1 ½ pounds ripe red plum tomatoes halved lengthwise and seeded [or cherry tomatoes]
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 large red chile
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt flakes
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pound waxy potatoes boiled in their skins for 15 minutes then peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 ¼ cups crème fraiche lightly whipped and seasoned with salt and pepper
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ⅓ cups all-purposes flour
- Pinch of salt
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced,
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 red chile, seeded and very finely chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
To roast the tomatoes, lightly brush a baking tray with some of the olive oil and arrange the tomatoes cut side up. Add the garlic and whole chile and sprinkle with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle the salt and sugar evenly over the tomatoes and bake in the preheated oven.
Remove the garlic after 10-15 minutes when soft, and squeeze the flesh into a bowl. Remove the chile after 15-20 minutes when the skin is blistered and slightly charred. Leave the tomatoes for 45-50 minutes until very soft and slightly charred. Cool the chile a little, then peel, seed, chop finely, and add to the garlic. Scoop the tomato flesh into the bowl, discarding skins [with cherry tomatoes, simply mash the skins]. Mash the flesh. Season to taste.
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Rub the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the Parmesan and chile, if using. Add enough cold water to make firm dough.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface and use to line a greased, 10-inch fluted art pan. Lightly prick the base with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes, then line with foil and baking beans. Heat a baking tray on the middle shelf of a preheated oven at. 400°. Put the tart shell on the tray, bake for 10-15 minutes, then remove from the oven and remove the foil and beans. Increase the oven heat to 450°.
Spread the tomato mixture evenly over the tart base, then over with concentric circles of potato slices. Pour the crème fraiche over the potato. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the top is golden.
Potatoes: From Mash To Fries by Annie Nichols