Spring is here for reals, I think. No, it is here, it has just been a bit raw and maybe a bit more rainy then it really needs to be, but whatever, it is spring and it is good. Things are greener by the day, the temperatures although not exactly warm are still inhabitable and without cause for winter jackets (although I have still been rocking the mittens) and spring veggies are popping up all over. Things are looking good.
So last week I made a pie crust with the intention to make a veggie pot pie and stuck it into the freezer. When the time came to make said pot pie, I forgot to take it out of the freezer so the crust was not meant to be for pot pie (it will probably end up as a rhubarb pie…we shall see). Without pie crust, I wasn’t exactly feeling like I should make a pot pie, but a tart, well yeah, sure. A crispy and chewy crackery crusted thing with almond ricotta a spring veggies because that is where the mind went and what the mr agreed sounded good. (When I make up recipes I just start taking about ingredient and preparations and wait til the mr says “Yea, that loud good. I’ll eat that “ He usually will say it right away and for anything. Very easy to please or he just doesn’t care…hum? )
And so the tart was made and the tart was eaten in all entirety for dinner by the mr alone. Usually when he eats all of something it means it was one of the really good things. Or he is really really hungry. But he said it was a really good thing. I trust him because I agreed. I got in a few spoonfuls of the almond ricotta mixture and it is really freaking good if I do say so myself (I could eat bowls of almond ricotta all day long).
Anyway, heres to spring and all things that are green and good.
To the tart.
The stuff. Flours (white and white whole wheat), baking powder, and a little salt in the bowl. Water and olive oil, blanched almonds, a lemon, a clove of garlic, asparagus, peas, frozen and thawed spinach, a small red onion, and salt and pepper.
Start with making the crust. Mix the dry together then add in the oil and water to form a dough. Knead dough a minutes until the dough is uniform and place back in bowl and cover. Dough needs a few alone minutes to rest. I can relate to that.
While dough is resting, make the almond ricotta. Almonds, garlic, the juice of the lemon, and a bit of water go into blender. Add in a pinch of salt and pepper too.
Blend until creamy and smooth.
Dump in the spinach and blend, just until combined.
So good. So. Good.
Scoop ricotta into a bowl and mix in the peas. And sure give it another taste but try not to eat it all.
Grab the onion and slice it all nice and thin.
And after the resting time, grab dough and roll it out. Try for a rectangular shape or as rectangular as you can get it, but nice and thin. Thiner is better.
Place rolled out dough onto a baking sheet and poke the bottom with lots of little hole. Take ricotta mixture and spread evenly all over crust, leaving a 1 1/2 border all the way around.
Add a layer of onions.
Then top with the asparagus and more onions.
Fold over the edges of the crust, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, and into the oven it goes to bake.
And then it is baked. And ready to eat (after a few minutes of cooling).
Nothing left but to cut it up and eat it.
Spring. Green. Food.
Things are good.
Almond Ricotta Tart with Spring Vegetables
Makes a 8x12(ish) tart
For the Crust
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat (can sub for all purpose)
3 tablespoon oil
1/3 cup room temp water
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Almond Ricotta and Veggies
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/4- 1/3 cup warm water
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper or more to taste
1/4 cup frozen and thawed spinach squeezed of liquid
9-10 spears of Asparagus
1/4 cup peas (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1 /2 red onion
First make the crust. Whisk together the flours, salt, and baking soda. Add in the oil and water and mix until a dough forms. Form dough into a ball and knead for minute or two on counter then place dough back into the bowl and cover. The dough needs to rest for 10-15 minutes.
While dough is resting, make the almond ricotta. Place almonds, garlic, and juice of lemon into a blender. Start blending and add in the lesser amount of water, adding a little more until the stuff all starts to blend. Blend on high for a minute or two until the mixture is nice and creamy. Season with salt and pepper, blend a second to mix then add in the squeezed out spinach. Blend until mix together then dump or scoop the mixture into a bowl and mix in the peas. Then thinly slice up the onion.
Preheat the oven to 450
After doughs little rest, lightly flour a counter and roll it out, thin as you can, in a rectangular shape. Try for at least 12in x 16in. The rectangle doesn’t need to be perfect. Rough is good.
Place the rolled out crust onto a baking. Take a fork and dock the surface (poke holes into it to prevent air bubbles). Take the ricotta and pea mixture and spread evenly on crust, leaving about a 1 1/2 inch border all the way around. Add a layer of sliced red onion and then take asparagus (trim off woody ends) and either lay on whole or break in half and lay on. Add more onions on top. Fold the border of the crust over the top. Sprinkle the whole thing with pepper and place into the hot oven.
Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the crust becomes a nice golden brown. Remove and let cool a few minutes
And then cut up and eat. Right away or at room temperature. Or some now and some later. All up you you.
Store left over in fridge in air tight container for up to a few days. the crust will not be crispy but more chewy. Can stick it back in oven for a few minutes to crisp it up.