Quick Bites from Pender

Potato Pesto Tart

In Island Life, Recipes on February 26, 2010 at 5:02 am

potato-pesto-tart

Hopefully I haven’t completely bored you with Nettle Month yet.  I slid this one in without mentioning nettles in the title — I knew it would cause a few groans and eye rolls out there (“Enough already!”)– kill me for playing the avoidance card.

For those of you still with me, I used the leftover Nettle Pesto I made the other night  — and it was THE BEST USE OF NETTLES I’ve ever eaten.  No kidding.  If you’re skeptical about the culinary value of nettles, I urge you to start on the path to nettle love with this tart.

Howard will back me up on my praise of this tart.  He’s not big on too many meatless meals, and even less enthusiastic about the over use of nettles, but even he exclaimed “Wow – this is good” after the first bite.

If you can’t find any nettles (city kids, gheesh!), the fact is that you can use any pesto in this tart.  The possibilities are almost limitless… homemade, store-bought, walnut, cilantro, sundried tomato, etc.

diced-potatoes

butter

I won’t say anymore.  Have at it.

pesto-crust

Makes a satisfying and tasty meatless meal – perfect when accompanied by a vegetable side – we chose an avocado salad.

Pesto & Potato Tart

10” Tart – Serves 8

Short Crust, prebaked in 10” tart pan w/removable bottom
Pesto (see tips below) ½ C 125 ml
Unsalted Butter or Olive Oil 2 T 30 ml
Fresh Thyme, whole sprigs 4
Shallot, julienned 1 large
Potato, medium dice 1 large
Whipping Cream ½ C 125 ml
Eggs 2
Feta Cheese, cut into ¼” thick slices 4 oz 100 g
S+P TT

C=cup       T=tablespoon        ml=millilitres     oz=ounce
g=grams        TT=to taste

Preheat the oven to 375˚.

Heat the butter or oil in a medium pan over medium heat.  Lay the sprigs of thyme across the bottom of the pan, then add the shallots, potatoes on top.  Season with s+p and cook, undisturbed for 5 minutes, then stir gently to turn the potatoes and shallots.  Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.  The potatoes and shallots should be soft and translucent, but with NO colour.  Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk the eggs and cream together until well blended.  Season with s+p.

Spread the pesto onto the bottom of the short crust in an even layer.  Top with an even, dense layer of the potato and shallot mixture (depending on the size of your potato, you may not need all of it).  Slowly pour cream and egg mixture into the shell to fill it.   Press the slices of feta in a circle onto the top of the tart so that they are partially submerged.

Bake the tart in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the centre is set and the top is golden brown.  Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.  Can be served warm or at room temperature.

potato-pesto-feta-tart

Tips:

  • To learn how to julienne a shallot, watch this video.
  • I used a russet potato, but a Yukon gold would have been my first choice.
  • No fresh thyme?  No problem!  Add about ¼ teaspoon dried thyme to the potatoes and shallots just before you remove the pan from the heat.
  • I garnished this with the leftover potatoes that wouldn’t fit into my crust.  I fried them until crispy brown and sprinkled them over each plate.

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