I’m a big fan of savory tarts. The broccoli cheddar tart is a winter favorite around here, and quiches filled with spices and greens crop up quite often as well. If I have a few scraps of cheese and a couple of different vegetables in the fridge, there’s a good chance they’ll be thrown together in a tart without any real recipe or planning.
All these things are delicious. Cheese, flaky crust, eggy filling; who could say no? But they aren’t exactly healthy. And that’s a shame, because there’s no reason they shouldn’t be.
So I tried for healthier. No more all-butter crust: I went with whole wheat flour, olive oil, ricotta cheese, and loads of vegetables. It could be leaner, with low-fat ricotta and broth or low fat milk instead of cream, but I didn’t go there. Honestly I’ve never bought a low-fat cheese in my life and don’t intend to. This recipe is easy to modify. Don’t like asparagus? Try greens, mushrooms, carrot coins, squash, or whatever else strikes your fancy.
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
For the crust:
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t white pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 T ice water
For the filling:
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
4 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup cream
1 lb asparagus
about 1/2 t salt
parmesan, to taste
For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix the flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the olive oil.
Stir with a spoon until the mixture is uniform.
Add the water and knead until the dough forms a ball.
Press the dough into a buttered tart pan or pie tin. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
Boil the asparagus for 3-5 minutes while the crust is baking.
When the crust is done, spread a layer of ricotta across the bottom of it.
Crumble the goat cheese over the ricotta. Mix the egg and cream in a small bowl.
Pour the egg and cream over the cheese, and top with the asparagus. Sprinkle the tart with salt.
Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes.
This crust is different, very crumbly and complex. I didn’t expect to like it; ordinarily I don’t even keep whole wheat flour in the apartment, because the texture annoys me. The simplicity of it with the olive oil, and the soft, rich filling offset that enough to make me go back for seconds on this one.