savory tart

I have been LOVING savory tarts lately.  The tart crust is super simple to make and you’ll never guess where I got the recipe from?!  Yep, you guessed it The Art of Simple Food (if you have not already gone out to get this you must).   🙂

2C flour

1/2 C ice cold water

12 TBSP butter

1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)

cut butter into cubes – work into flour – I like using my hands for this but you can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on low for 30 seconds.  Start pouring water (about 1/2 the water) in (along the sides of the bowl if using stand mixer) – use only enough water to form a dough ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is not too sticky.

Split dough into two, cover with plastic wrap and flatten into disks and chill.  After chilled – when ready to use – pull out and let dough get a little warmed up so it’s malleable and easier to roll.

I usually double the recipe and freeze the rounds that I am not using. 

I use all different kinds of veggies for my tarts – whatever is in season and ready in my garden or at the farmers market.  I always use a lot of onions (cooked very slowly so they get super sweet – almost caramelized).  I have been using a lot of chard and kale lately but truly it’s just whatever is around and of course cheese to top it off.

Place the sautéed veggies in the middle of the rolled out dough – leaving about 1/2 inch border and then fold that border over the veggies – leaving an exposed middle.

Brush the crust with egg and milk so it gets nice and crispy and golden.

Bake at 375 for 45 – 55 minutes and enjoy. 

The beauty is you can put in whatever you want.  And keep changing it up as the seasons change.  I also use the same recipe for my fruit tarts – I like it because it’s not uber sweet and it really highlights the fruit.

Peach Tart

We LOVE fava beans.  Mainly we either throw them on the grill with some olive oil, boil them quickly or roast them in the oven.  Then the fun part is popping them out of their shells and munching on them plain or in our salad.  The kids love them, they are like giant edamame to them.  But, as with anything you want to try new ways of eating/cooking them. 

I found a super easy, super delicious recipe in The Art of Simple Food (my go to bible cook book) for fava bean spread.  I had 5lbs of favas that I was looking to do something with so this was perfect.

shell 4 or 5 lbs favas

parboil for a few minutes

remove and put in an ice bath

remove the skin from the beans

return beans to pot and cook with some olive oil and about 1/2 C water (maybe a bit more – depending on the consistency you are going for), chopped garlic and rosemary.  Cook until beans are mashable.  I used a potato masher, you can use a fork or put it in a food processor.  I like to have some lumps.

Serve warm or room temp – spread on crostini or crackers – or like Ryder does, just eat it with a spoon! 

The vibrant green color is a beautiful addition to any meal.

We planted favas this year ( a bit late) so we will just begin our harvest in the next week – so I can’t wait to make more of this delicious spread.

If you haven’t read this book yet – it’s a must!  I just read it and am so inspired!  What an absolutely amazing story and idea.  I am envisioning my new career or at least volunteer career at the kid’s school. As you know I currently volunteer at the kid’s school gardening and doing garden related projects – but there is only so much you can do with kids 5 years old and younger.  But the thought of working with older kids and incorporating cooking too – ohhhhh – that just sounds heavenly!

So the cliff notes go like this…… Alice Waters – owner of Chez Pannise in Berkeley and whom I believe to be the originator of eating locally and seasonally or at least the person who made it chic, would walk by this middle school everyday and see this run down schoolyard and a school where some kids came from humble (I’m being generous in th term humble) homes.  Alice approached the principal and proposed tearing up the one acre asphalt yard and turning it into a garden.  The principal tried to call her bluff – but this amazing lady made it happen. 

she had the asphalt torn out, the soil tilled, a cover crop planted and so began the Edible Schoolyard.  The kids were involved in the planting and creating of the garden.  Soon the dilapidated 1930’s kitchen was cleaned up, and turned back into a working kitchen. 

My brief summary of how it all began does not do the story nearly justice – you can get a history at this link or definitely pick up the book and give it a read (very easy read).

Now the teachers in all of the subjects use the garden and kitchen for teaching their specific subject matter (math, history, reading/writing, etc).   Most people wouldn’t think that you could teach/learn about math in a garden – but it works.  Not to mention, these kids are getting their hands dirty and learning about the earth and good, fresh food – something they may have never learned about.  In a time when childhood obesity is a huge problem, this edible schoolyard will help to reverse the effects of years of over consumption, processed and fast foods have done to us.

I am thrilled to be teaching my children about the earth and growing their own food and now I have the honor of passing this on to their fellow classmates.  I would be so joyful to actually be able to help introduce/incorporate the edible schoolyard philosophy, principles and curriculum to their future schools (I will be looking in to how to make this happen).

I encourage everyone to get out in the dirt with their kids (even if you don’t have kids – get out there).  You don’t need a lot of space, you can do a container garden, you can grow your own herbs or lettuce – whatever it is – there is nothing better than going out into your garden and picking food you have grown and eating it. 

I also encourage you to approach your kid’s school principal and take the initiative to start your own garden.  You’ll be amazed at how open administrators are to ideas – especially when there is volunteer work involved 😉  Get a group of parents together and make it happen – Alice did! 

During the holiday season I contemplated what to make for friends – I knew I wasn’t going to be doing any real crafting and I wanted to do more than cookies.  Not sure if I said this before, but I am NOT a baker.  I don’t like to follow recipes to the exact measurement, I like to add a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  And I don’t need all those yummy treats laying around the house – they just call for me to eat them.  What to make?  I found this new blog/site I really like and found the perfect treat to make cranberry walnut bread!  OHHHHHHHH so yummy!  I made a couple loaves of this and along with it I made orange curd (from Alice Waters curd recipe) for spreading across each slice.  I am in LOVE with this recipe!  This is my new holiday tradition. 

My vision was that all of my friends would be eating it on Christmas morning and shortly after Christmas I received emails from everyone who received the bread and curd and they all said they and their families enjoyed it on Christmas morning, as did we. 

I just made myself a loaf this morning and the kids and I enjoyed a few slices 🙂

What are some of your holiday traditions?

This month I have been a soup fanatic.  I can’t seem to get enough of it.  First off, I love soup on cold winter days (not that we’ve been having many of those lately).  But anyways, secondly, Ryder’s ayurvedic Dr. says soup is good for him and it’s a great place to add the spices that are beneficial for his body type (in the ayurvedic world).  So I was pleasantly surprised to see a few great soup recipes in January’s Sunset.  The one that caught my eye was the Toasted Bread, Bean and Vegetable Soup


Toasted Bread, Bean, and Vegetable Soup from Sunset


It had everything that is good for Ryder in it, plus we have a ton of swiss chard in our garden, I had just bought a huge bunch of carrots at the farmers market, we had day old bread and we always have beans on hand.  So I decided if I was going to make this soup I was going to make a couple others in the magazine but I didn’t have enough vegetable broth so I figured let’s make some homemade. 


This is how I spent my New Years Day, making soup.  It was perfect.  I made some homemade vegetable stock (the recipe I found in an Alice Waters cookbook)


Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution
After making the vegetable stock I took the veggies I used in the stock and pureed them to use later as a vegetable bisque (I just can’t throw away food).  I froze the pureed veggies, the remainder of the vegetable stock and the left over toasted bread, bean and vegetable soup (after we all ate huge bowls of it for dinner). 
It was great, one day and all this soup which will feed us for a long time.
A week later we tried the Creamy Cauliflower soup
Creamy Cauliflower Soup from Sunset
which doesn’t have an ounce of cream in it- ohhhh so yummy!
The other recipe that made me crave soup (but we haven’t tried yet) is the Romesco Soup
Romesco Soup from Sunset
Doesn’t that look good!
I just love a good soup and a nice salad and some warm bread – to me that makes the perfect dinner!
Hope you and your family enjoy these as much as we do.