Savory pumpkin tart, take 2
Two years ago I posted about this pumpkin feta and spinach “thing.” It must have been late when I wrote up the post or something, because quite obviously it’s just a tart. Anyway, it got a mention in Saveur magazine online, in the US. It was (and still is) a really big deal for me getting published in any magazine (even just online), let alone one half way across the world! This time of year it gets a steady stream of views because everyone in the US is crazily looking for an autumn (or “fall”) pumpkin recipe that’s not dessert-related! Being a very fickle foodie, I haven’t made that tart since (I like to try new food things), but last night my cravings met the contents of my fridge/pantry and produced a really wonderful alteration:
Given how rich and sweet it is, I thought I’d play up the sweetness of the pumpkin a bit more this time with balsamic-kissed caramelised onions, thyme and finally, kalamata olives to remind the palate that this is still a savoury tart! A light sprinkling of cheese went on top for a bit of extra protein, but you could easily use chickpeas if you’re trying to keep things light. I went with a super thin crust this time to add a bit more crispiness to an otherwise very soft filling. I also had crispy roast potatoes and some unadorned miner’s lettuce from the garden. Sometimes really fresh greens are enough on their own (sans dressing) to perfectly balance a rich meal, as Alessandra also notes in this post about a beautiful asparagus salad.
I realise pumpkin isn’t the most springy vegetable (to say the least!), but there is still plenty of it kicking around at my local Farmers’ Market. Eating seasonal for me has stopped being about following strict lists and simply reflects what happens to be available from the actual people growing my food nearby. Pumpkin is always fairly affordable here, and I’ve gotten mine almost weekly from this wee semi-organic, mostly spray-free stall for the last few weeks. It’s just crown pumpkin, but it’s amazing – sweet, yielding, not floury and dry (even when roasted), but not too mushy either. Pick pumpkin which is deeply orange, not the stuff that’s borderline yellow – it’ll not be very sweet at all and be watery and not worth the time and effort you put into this.
Lastly, I urge you to make the pastry yourself, especially this one which is really unfussy, and delicious. I suppose you could use a store bought butter puff pastry, but it won’t turn out as crispy/crunchy, and this one has a touch of wholemeal flour for added crispiness, flavour and good-for-you-points.
Savoury pumpkin tart, with balsamic-kissed caramelised onions, kalamata olives & thyme
makes one 9″ tart
- 2 regular sized onion, sliced thinly along the lines
- drizzle of cooking oil
- about 1 tsp blond cane, or light brown, sugar
- about 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (more if you want, cheap stuff is fine here)
- about 1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh
- about 1 Tbs juice from draining the olives
Now that that’s going, preheat your oven to 200C (400F).
Crust – feel free to use your go-to recipe, but this one’s really easy and not at all fussy
- 50g cold butter, cubed
- about 2/3c plain flour
- about 1/4c wholemeal flour (pref stoneground) – or sub plain flour if you don’t have any
- salt if using unsalted butter
- 1 Tbs very cold water to start
Dust with more flour, and roll out until about 11″ and very thin (you may need to keep dusting it with flour so it doesn’t stick to your counter, that’s normal). Slot into your tart pan, and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile prep your other filling ingredients:
Other filling ingredients
- about 2 1/2 c peeled cubed deep orange pumpkin (no more than 1″ wide) + dash oil
- just under 1 c pitted kalamata olives
- handful grated cheese (optional)
Foodie Favourite at the moment
Making my own grissini! Alessandra’s book Party Food for Girls reminded me how yummy the home made version can be! I had some tired olive oil dough lying around that was smelling a bit alcohol-y (woops…forgot about it in the back of the fridge), but the grissini were still super tasty! No trace of alcoholy flavour, but the richness from the loooong fermentation was still there. You can make them really grainy and healthy but they still taste crunchy and great. Wonderful for picnic season since you don’t have to bring a knife to cut a loaf open, plus there is something nice about their dip-friendly shape :) Obviously they bake really quickly too. As Alessandra notes in her book you can bake them twice if you want them to stay crunchy.
EDIT: So excited to be featured on Freshly Pressed (the wordpress home page when wordpress users log in)! Thank you to Erica & the team at WordPress for the honour :D My terror upon checking my inbox this morning quickly turned into excitement! Have also found some awesome blogs just by browsing through all the lovely likers and commenters. Win win!