Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Mainiac Confesses (And a vegetable tart)

Even though I've lived in MA for about 9 years now, I pretty much always to claim to be here temporarily and against my will. My this weekend, I actually realized I was happy to live in Boston.

Saturday we did a scavenger hunt pub crawl. Normally I'm not a huge pub crawl person, it's just standing around chugging beers. This was a BLAST! We were running all over the city, figuring out clues, taking pictures, asking questions.... I actually learned something about the history of the city too. Of course, I also fell down stairs in front of about 300 people- not because I was drinking too much, but because I was so intent on finding the next clue that I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing.
This morning, I paid for the pizza and beer indulgences of yesterday with a double whopper of spin interval followed by turbo kick. Then, I headed into the marathon expo. It's so cool to have the whole city taken over by runners. It was also like torture because I'm not running! I still got my feet taped up by a physical therapist, because my heels have just been horrible lately. Hopefully some extra support for the next few days will help.

For dinner- a grilled (which turned out to be roasted because the grill was out of propane) tart.

Summer Vegetable Tart For Any Season
3/4 cup almond meal flour
1 1/4 cup unbleached white flour or whole wheat flour
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey)
1/4 cup fig jam or spread, (add 1 tablespoon water to thin out slightly)
2 1/2 to 3 cups yellow onions, julienned (about 2 medium sized onions)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 red bell peppers
4 Japanese or Chinese eggplant (or 1 regular eggplant)
3 zucchini squash, medium sized
1/3 to ½ cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled (Laura Chenel brand works well)
4 or 5 fresh figs, quartered (If you don’t like figs, don’t use them.  Substitute your favorite berry jam for the fig jam.)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place flours in a bowl and stir to combine.  Put in a food processor with butter and honey.   Process until dough comes together and begins to pull away from the sides of the food processor.
Gather dough into a ball and form a flat disk.  Place on the bottom of a buttered 8- or 9-inch tart pan.  Press from center outward to cover the bottom of the pan and then build the dough evenly up the sides, about 2-inch or so.  (This is a rustic tart thus beauty doesn’t matter.)
Bake crust for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove and let cool a little.

While the tart shell is baking, heat a fry pan over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the onions, turn heat down to medium and cook, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and limp, and begin to lightly brown and caramelize (about 15 to 20 minutes).  Set aside and let cool.

Grill Vegetables:
Cut peppers into 4 or 5 strip like pieces, disgarding the ribs, seeds and stem.  Cut zucchini lengthwise into ¼-inch thick strips.  Do the same with the eggplant.  Place vegetables in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.  Grill vegetables until you have grill marks and they’ve all softened up.  Remove to a plate to cool.

Of course, in my case the grill was out of propane. So I roasted the veggies in the oven at 450 for 30 minutes. And while they were roasting I decided to clean the grill- which was much more than a 30 minute project, and I ended up looking like a chimney sweep.

Fill the Tart:
Put the caramelized onions in the tart and spread so you have an even layer.  Drizzle the thinned out jam over the top of the onions evenly.
Layer the vegetables on top, anyway you wish.  Distribute the crumbled goat cheese on top of the onions.  Spread figs over the top of the tart.
You can serve the tart warm by covering with foil and warming in the oven  for 8 or 10 minutes if desired.  It is also great served room temperature.

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