Summer Tarts with Vegetable Spirals
From what I understand, a photo of these vegetable-swirled tarts was posted on the internet a couple years ago and went viral. Dina from Olive Oil and Lemons decided to replicate the recipe...I think I may have seen it on Pinterest and it caught my eye.
To begin with..these were delicious! Well worth the patience it took to make them. We only made four little tarts and wish we had made 12! My daughter and I have been splitting them and eating them for lunch every day.
Dina's instructions look lengthy...don't let that frighten you from making these. You'll get the hang of it in no time. I lined the 4 1/2 inch pastry tins in advance and froze them; the cheese filling is simple, you just have to make certain the cheeses are room temperature. It's the slicing and swirling the vegetables that takes patience. The slices need to be very thin so they twirl nicely..you could use your mandolin or your vegetable peeler (press down hard if you use the peeler) and you'll need to trim your veggies to make them all the same height. Press them down into the cheese a little, it will hold the twirls in place. It's simpler than it looks. Patience!
Summer Tarts with Vegetable Spirals
From Olive Oil and Lemons
Ingredients for pastry:
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup ice water
Method for pastry:
Place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the cold butter and pulse with on/off until the butter pieces are coated with the flour.
Begin adding the water in a thin and steady stream while continuing to pulse on and off. The dough may not yet come together but no loose flour remains.
Scrape the dough onto the work surface and shape the dough into a disk, handling it as little as possible. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
When ready to proceed remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut in half. Working with one half at a time roll the dough out into a circle large enough for one 8 tart or 4 individual tarts.
To fit the dough into the tart pans I cut it into circles large enough to fit into the pans and pressed them into place individually.
Gently press the dough into the tart pans and then roll the rolling pin over pressing it gently onto the edges. This will cut the dough into each individual tart pan.
Refrigerate until cold before filling. (I froze my tarts)
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup goat cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Combine the cheeses in a bowl and bring to room temperature. When they are soft, mash them together with a spoon until blended.
Ingredients for the vegetables:
2 green zucchini
2 yellow zucchini
1/4 cup melted butter for brushing over the spirals before baking
salt (for sprinkling over the spiral before baking)
Method for assembling:
Cut off the ends of the zucchini and carrots, then slice into vertical ribbons with a mandolin or a vegetable peeler.
Stack the ribbons and cut them by half vertically so they are all approximately of equal width. Depending on their size, you may not need to cut the carrots.
Remove tart shells from the refrigerator and spread with some of the cheese filling.
Begin rolling the vegetables into a spiral form. Start with a ribbon of carrot and roll it onto itself tightly. You can press the veggies into the cheese to hold them in place. Now add another ribbon of green or yellow zucchini and wrap it around the carrot. Keep the skin side of the ribbons up for better visual. Continue wrapping the ribbons around, alternating the colors and making the spiral larger until you nearly reach the the edges of the tart shell.
Place the tarts on a baking sheet, brush melted butter over the vegetables and bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is crisp and just beginning to turn golden. Do not let the vegetables brown.
Remove from oven, let cool a little and then remove from the tart pan.