This fall I discovered savory tarts. It all started with Hurricane Sandy and looking at food-related things on NPR. I discovered their weekly recipe series, Kitchen Window, and the first one I saw was on savory tarts. I fell in love. However, even the best things need some mixing up at times, and taking a template I liked and trying something more adventurous seemed like a decent place to start. So I went back to where it all started and decided on a different tart recipe – Parsnips and Apple Galette. Now I’ve never really eaten parsnips, or at least not often, so this seemed like good introduction – something I already felt comfy with but with a new ingredient – rather like having a first date at a bar you already like. I didn’t exactly follow the recipe. I used a different pastry recipe and just normal lettuce since I’m not a fan of arugula. A bit of advice on making pastry crust – add only small bits of water at a time. Too much water ruins it and you have to start over. Also – NEVER mix with a spoon. Mix the water in a little with a knife and then use your hands. Only way to really get it right is to make sure it feels right.
The result …
…. unbelievably good (sorry about the picture – I forgot to take it until after I started eating). It was one of those magically perfect recipes that I knew was amazing after just one bite.
Of course one recipe could just be a fluke, so I have a second date with new a parsnip-based recipe this weekend ….
This particular recipe has nothing to do with Christmas, but since it is red and green, and it was December, it seemed an appropriate name. I’ve been playing with risotto for a year now, and this is my favorite, narrowly beating risotto with tomatoes. The red is beets and the green is kale (though substitute whatever green leafy veggie you like best). A warning about using beets – it turns the whole risotto pink when you mix them in, although careful stirring can limit that. Warning #2 – don’t use red wine. I tried that once … it tasted fine but turned a really weird, ugly color.
Prep: Chop beets, toss in olive oil and roast until they are done (at 400 degrees). It takes a while, assume at least 30 min. Meanwhile – chop and saute the kale/chard/spinach/whatever makes you happy. Set these aside when done.
Cooking the risotto: Start by melting butter in a saucepan, and briefly saute chopped onions and garlic. Add the arborio rice – somewhere between 1/2 cup and 1 cup, depending on how hungry you are. Cook that for 1-2 minute then add broth, a 1/2 cup at a time, waiting for each 1/2 cup to be absorbed before adding more. After around two cups of broth have been absorbed, add some white wine, then keep adding stock till it’s done. Mix in the veggies, top with cheese, pour yourself some of that wine you just used and enjoy!