Monday, May 17, 2010

Spinach and Cheese Tart

Dave and I moved to San Luis Obispo last week and with that I have a renewed commitment to start cooking and blogging again. Another great thing about this is that Natalie and I can now cook together! We decided to cook a feast this weekend in celebration of our house (mainly kitchen see above) finally being assembled. The menu included the following:

  • Spiced white bean dip with whole wheat flatbread
  • Spinach and cheese tart with cornmeal crust
  • Grilled portobello mushrooms with pesto and Swiss cheese
  • Grilled tri tip
  • Mache salad with sun dried tomatoes, lentils, and Parmesan cheese

There is a vegetarian blog I follow regularly called 101 Cookbooks that has some amazing recipes. The post last week was a for a turnip greens tart. I have never made a tart before, but it seemed like a good challenge. I made this for our dinner this weekend, but I modified it by using spinach instead of turnip greens. I will warn you for those of you who have never made a tart that it is extremely time consuming. That said, I would still do it again. I would probably add a little more cheese, some caramelized red onions, and maybe some minced marinated artichoke hearts to give it more texture. The recipe makes two shells so I will probably attempt this soon...keep you posted! (recipe in the hyperlink above)

Natalie will have to post the mushrooms and salad recipes because these were her incredible contributions to the feast. Below is the dip recipe I created, which was really simple, but a great appetizer for a complicated dinner menu. Enjoy!

Spiced White Bean Dip
1 can white cannellini beans, drained
1/8 c olive oil
1/8 c lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 t kosher salt (more to taste if desired)
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 t toasted cumin seeds
1 t coriander powder
1/2 t white pepper
dash of red wine vinegar

In food processor, pulse all ingredients until smooth. I put in a bowl and drizzled with a little more olive oil, fresh cracked black pepper, and some feta cheese. I served this with store bought whole wheat flat bread that I toasted and cut into triangles and carrot sticks.

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