It seems as though we’ve skipped spring altogether and launched right into summer. If that means no rain, I’m ok with it. I hate rain like nothing else. Luckily, there hasn’t been too much of it and it’s been pretty warm in the city which means that bike weather is back. When I lived in the country, biking was a leisurely activity whether on or off road, in the city it’s always an X-treme sport. Yes, capital X to the treme. The hazards that you deal with in city biking far outweigh anything you might encounter in the country. In the country I might have to avoid the occasional car, (which I will probably wave to because I know them) sometimes a squirrel, (which I will probably wave to because his name is Nutkin) maybe a dog if it’s a bad day, (but it won’t really be that bad, cause I’ll probably just wave to the dog because I know him too). In the city I always have to be on guard, ready to defend myself against things like crazy inept city drivers, (in cars, trucks, buses and transport trucks) streetcars, (and possibly even worse are the tracks they leave all over the place) other bikers, (you’d think we’re all in this together, but some bikers are nut-jobs) pedestrians, (and their various accoutrements) and random other dangers like construction, potholes, city animals, street lights and a lack of bike lanes.
As if all of that isn’t bad enough, I live in the bike theft capital of the universe so if I wanted to continue to put my life at risk on my bike I have to keep it chained to me at all times. I swear, just stopping at a traffic light could leave you susceptible to having your bike stolen while you’re still on it. One minute you could be riding along and the next minute you’re on the ground, pedaling the air and wondering what the hell happened to your bike. Despite all of this, I put on my helmet, warmed up my bell dinging thumb and headed out for a ride today in the sunshine. I made it home in one piece, although the sun got the best of me and I’m a horrendous shade of pink this evening. What does all of this have to do with the vegetable tart you’re looking at? Nothing, but I wanted to remind people to be nice to bikers and the tart seemed like a nice backdrop to do so. And while I’m ranting- could grocery store employees please be gentle with my produce? Eggplants are not to be hurled like footballs. Thank you.
The tart is actually Anna Olson’s Roasted Garlic Vegetable Tart which is from her new show Fresh and is the April recipe for the Cooking Club Challenge on the Foodtv.ca blog. The tart requires you to make much more garlic oil than you will actually need but it’s not hard to find other uses for it. Or, if you’d rather, you could probably just roast some garlic, puree it and then only add as much oil as you need to brush it onto the phyllo. I also opted to top some of my tarts with goat cheese instead of feta and it was super. I realize it’s not exactly butternut squash season right now, but this tart lends itself well to substitutions, so whatever looks fresh would probably be good. Oh, and next time I’d add bacon. Definitely bacon.
Roasted Garlic Vegetable Tart (From Fresh with Anna Olson)
1 heads garlic
1 cup canola oil
6 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
salt and pepper
1 x red bell pepper, diced
1/2 heads sliced fennel
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
finely grated lemon zest
3 sheets phyllo pastry
4 ounces feta cheese
For roasted garlic oil, preheat oven to 375 F. Peel garlic cloves and place in a baking dish. Cover with oil, stir to coat, and cover dish. Bake until garlic cloves are golden, about 40 minutes. Let cool.
Toss squash with 3 tbsp garlic oil and season lightly. Bake squash, covered for 15 minutes at 375 F, then uncover and reduce temperature to 350 F, and bake until tender, about 20 more minutes.
Toss cooled squash with diced red pepper, sliced fennel, sage and lemon zest. Season to taste.
To assemble tart, increase oven temperature back to 375 F. Spread out 1 sheet of phyllo (keeping other sheets covered). Brush lightly with garlic oil and lay another sheet over. Continue layering remaining phyllo sheets, brushing with garlic oil between each layer. Fold phyllo in half lengthwise and gently lift and place in an ungreased rectangle (4-x- 10 inch) removable-bottom tart pan. Spoon squash filling into tart shell and crumble feta over. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until phyllo is a rich brown.
Serve tart warm or at room temperature.
Technorati Tags:Tart + Phyllo + Squash + Fennel + Garlic