Tamara Novacoviç with a lovely savory spring tart that works just as well as an appetizer or a light spring lunch.
By Tamara Novacoviç
Every year when days get warmer and sun slowly creeps into my little town I start making more and more tarts and pies. Somehow, for me fruity pies and savoury tarts like this one represent spring on a plate. I also love green food. I was one of those children who were excited about green meals and vegetables on their plate. This is a beautiful savory spring tart that works great as an appetizer or as a light meal.
The dough is one of the best I’ve made. It is delicious and simple, made with olive oil which gives the crust such a great flavor and makes it crunchy. The filling combines light flavors of ricotta and spinach, plus a bit of parmesan and garlic to give it that final touch.
Tart crust: for 11- to 12-inch (28-30 cm) tart pan; adapted from Chocolate and zucchini
- 8.8 oz (250 g) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp chopped thyme
- ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
- ½ cup (120 ml) cold water
- 16 oz (500 g) ricotta cheese
- 8 oz (250 g) spinach
- 1 small onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- Salt, pepper
1. For the crust: combine flour, salt, thyme, add olive oil and water. Knead for a few seconds, just to form it into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 Celsius).
3. Roll out the dough onto lightly floured surface (try to work as quick as possible to avoid overworking the dough), transfer it carefully into the prepared pan and line it neatly. Trim the excess dough. Bake the crust blind (prick with a fork first) for 10 minutes.
4. For the filling, finely chop onion and garlic and cook on olive oil until tender. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Remove and discard the tough stems of the spinach. Wash the leaves and cook them in a covered pot of boiling water until just wilted, 2-3 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Drain well and squeeze dry. Add the spinach to the onion and garlic, cook on low heat for 5 more minutes.
6. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta with eggs, some salt, pepper, and grated parmesan cheese. Add the spinach mixture to the ricotta mixture, combine well and pour over the prebaked crust. Bake at 392 F (200 Celsius) for 30 minutes.
7. Let cool sligthly and serve.
Tamara Novakovic is a passionate self-taught cook, food blogger, freelance food writer and photographer behind bite-my-cake.blogspot.com. Her life journey has led her through Faculty of Humanities in Zagreb, Croatia to discovering passion for making cakes. She is currently a weekly food columnist for Croatian newspaper V magazine and food magazine Repete.