Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"i'm dressed up for free drinks and family greetings"

the food: Zucchini Enchilada Tart 
the song: "Company Calls Epilogue" Death Cab for Cutie

At the beginning of 2010, I made a big decision. I decided to quit my job as a daycare director so I could pursue something new. I told you all about it as it was unfolding, and I realized I hadn't updated you on my post-job life. I have some work prospects on the horizon that I will hopefully be able to tell you about soon. It's been on my mind a lot this week, because had I not quit, Monday would have been my first day of school.

I wondered how I would feel this week. Would I be sad or regret leaving my job? In the past, two months of summer has been more than enough to rejuvenate me and get me ready for the year. Would I make it a point to do something deliberately not responsible? It would not be the first time this summer I've chosen an afternoon margarita and swimming over cleaning house.

The week (so far, anyway) has been pretty normal. I waited around for a repair guy. I grocery shopped. I did dishes. I worked in the garden. I made vegetable broth. I went to a doctor's appointment. I washed and folded. I did yoga. I've taken more than a few moments to be grateful. 

I also made a delicious new recipe that I am going to share with you.
Are you familiar with (never home) maker? The site is written by a vegetarian couple in New York who also happen to be great photographers, homebrewers, and marathon runners (wha' wha'?). They posted a recipe for a deep dish veggie tart last week and I bookmarked it for future use. I do this a lot...pretty much anytime I see a picture that makes my stomach perk up. But this recipe kept popping up in my head, demanding to be cooked. So, just a few days later, I tried it.

What can I tell you about this dish? As the original post says, it's different. It is based on a lasagna tart recipe. (Never home) maker describes it like a deep dish pizza. I upped the spice with some garden jalapenos and added cilantro, so I'm going to add "enchilada" to the list of descriptions. Call it whatever you want, really. Delicious comes to mind...

This would be a great dish for a meal with friends, because there is plenty of time to clean up the kitchen between steps. Even though the directions are a bit lengthy, there is a lot of downtime. Another reason this is great for a dinner party? Once you pop it in the oven, you have 40 minutes of bake time to get yourself ready before people arrive. You'll look great and have an impressive meal to share in your clean house with people you love.  

Zucchini Enchilada Tart
adapted from (never home) maker

For the crust:
2 cups flour 
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon herbs (whatever you have on hand, fresh or dried... I used oregano)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cool water

For the filling:
3 small zucchini, cut into thin coins
1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed (canned is fine)
2-3 ounces goat cheese (if you don't care for goat cheese, Monterrey jack would be tasty)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 jalapenos, de-seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

  • Whisk together the flour, salt, and herbs. Add in the oil and water. Mix with a fork . . . and then give in and use your hands. The dough will be slightly sticky. You may add more water, if necessary.

  • On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough so it'll fit your tart pan. We make ours about an inch in diameter larger. Quick rolls are best, you don't want to handle the dough too much.

  • Very carefully transfer the tart dough to the pan. Fold over the excess dough to make the crust thicker. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in your refrigerator for half an hour to an hour.

  • pinch kosher salt

    First, make your crust. Whisk together the flour, salt, and herbs. Add in the oil and water. Mix with your hands. Dough will be slightly sticky. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a thin sheet and carefully fit it into your tart pan. Use your hands to shape the crust. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in your refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour.

    In the meantime, toss your zucchini coins with salt in a colander to release some of the moisture. Let sit while your dough rests.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove crust from refrigerator, take off plastic wrap, and prick the bottom of the crust a few times with a fork. Bake on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes, until golden.

    Meanwhile, make your sauce. In your blender or food processor, add canned tomatoes and juices, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 garlic cloves, 2 jalapenos, and a pinch of salt. Pulse until roughly combined. 

    Remove crust from oven and set aside. Lower oven temperature to 350. Rinse salt from zucchini and press between 2 clean dish towels. Arrange cheese, zucchini, beans, sauce, and cilantro for easy access. Let the layering begin!

    Spread 1/2 of the cheese on the bottom. Spread 1/2 sauce on top of that and sprinkle with cilantro. Then pile 1/2 your zucchini coins in a circular pattern on the tart. Add all the black beans. Then another layer of cheese (about 2/3 of what is left) and cilantro. Then another layer of zucchini. Top with the rest of your cheese, then the rest of your sauce.

    Place tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and cook at 350 for 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. 


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