I think we’re fitting the rain of one season into one month here in the Bay Area. To be fair, it’s not that we’re getting a lot of hard, driving, flooding rain. It’s more drizzle, light rain, heavy raindrops falling from overladen leaves kind of weather. And we had such a dry winter until now, it doesn’t feel PC to complain.
The kale in my garden is just thrilled.
This is the best time of year for kale. Lots of young, sweeter leaves to pick. Unfortunately, I find that the central stem, which is uber-tough, needs to be removed before cooking - even with the younger leaves.
I’ve been playing with a kale tart for months now and got a few versions I liked, but they were all heavy in fat from all the ricotta, parmesan, or goat cheese I was adding. I eliminated most of the cheese from the tart filling, added some to the tart shell, and added squash and apples to the filling. Great idea, but it didn’t quite work. I tried adding sausage, like this great one from My Pantry Shelf. I loved it, but wanted to go vegetarian with this. Back to the drawing board. And then I landed on this combination that was so good, my husband and I argued over who deserved the last piece more. We ultimately split it right down the middle. This will be my “go-to” kale tart for a long time to come.
Go here to see my step-by-step instructions with photos for making a fool-proof crust.
The ratio of ounces to cups that I use is 4.5 ounces = 1 cup of flour.
The Cheddar Crust Recipe, below, makes two tart or pie crusts. Or you can use one-half of the recipe for a crust, and the other half for cheddar crackers. For crackers, just roll out the crust and use a pizza wheel or sharp knife to slice the dough into the shape of crackers you want. Lightly salt and bake at 375° F for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed.
Kale and Cauliflower Tart with a Cheddar Crust
Serves 4 – 6
- 10 ounces all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, very cold, sliced into 1/4″ sections
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1 1/2 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons ice water, or more for the dough to come together
- 1 cauliflower, with florets separated
- 3 tablespoon olive oil, separated
- sprinkling of salt, pepper and ground cayenne
- 1 1/2 red onions, peeled, quartered, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tomatoes
- 4 cups, packed, sliced kale with the central stem removed
- 2 tablespoons orange juice, roughly 1/2 orange
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
Place the flour, salt, cayenne and cheddar cheese into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to distribute all the ingredients into the flour.
Add the butter all at once and pulse about 10 times until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of water and pulse a few times. Test the dough by pinching it. If it sticks together well when pinched, you’ve added enough water. If not, add additional water. For me in making this crust, it took three tablespoons, but sometimes it’s taken four.
Dump the dough mixture, including loose flour, onto a work area. Fraisage, or smear the dough with the palm of one hand. Do this three times. This helps to create the layers of a buttery crust. See photos and a more detailed explanation in my post on making a fool-proof crust, also found in my Pantry Section of the this blog.
Form into two disks of equal size (this crust recipe is enough for two tarts or pies). Wrap in wax paper or plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roll out to 1/8″ thickness between two pieces of wax paper. Place in a tart shell or pie plate. Chill until you’re ready to bake.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Toss the cauliflower florets in 1 tablespoon olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and roast until tender (15-20 minutes). Remove from the oven and reduce heat to 375° F.
Slice tomatoes in thick slices, horizontally. Toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place on the baking sheet with a new piece of parchment paper and roast until slightly dried and puckered, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
Add the final tablespoon to a heavy sauté pan with the butter over medium heat. Add the red onions and sauté until very limp. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until caramelized, stirring periodically. This will take around 40 minutes, and is well worth the extra time to do. Remove onions and set aside. Keep the sauté pan over medium-low heat.
Add the orange juice to the sauté pan, and scrape up the bits of caramelized onion. Add the kale, and a light sprinkling of cayenne, salt and pepper. When the kale becomes limp, add the onions and cauliflower; toss to combine.
Keep the oven at 375° F. Remove the unbaked shell from the refrigerator, and place it on a baking sheet. Fill the shell with the kale mixture. Sprinkle a little cheddar cheese on top. Arrange the tomatoes on top of the cheese, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is a golden brown and the cheese is melted. Serve warm.