about bliss

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

daily bliss: summer vegetable tart

Summer days, once my summer class ended, have a certain, perhaps enviable, rhythm:

practice yoga to a swirl of incense
eat breakfast, drink coffee, and read sections of the Sunday Times on the deck
water plants
walk four+ miles, listening to Splendid Table, This American Life, or Fresh Air podcasts
work on writing projects
think about, make, and eat lunch, perhaps while watching Giada or Rachel or Ina
work on writing projects or class prep or placement project
think about dinner
prep dinner, listening to All Things Considered or Fresh Air
debrief with G
ride bikes 10+ miles along the lake with G
eat dinner
clean up
read, internet, etc.

I spend considerable time, perhaps not reflected here, thinking about supper. This time of year, my culinary decisions are determined by seasonal produce, temperature, and energy level. We're right on the edge of summer abundance, and these days the fridge is stocked with summer squashes of all sorts, lettuces, cucumbers, swiss chard, onions, corn, and beans. The counter is filled with peaches, garlic, potatoes, and tomatoes. The deck is fragrant with basil, thyme (french and lemon), sage, lemon verbena, parsley, mint. The possibilities are endless.

Yesterday afternoon I made a summer vegetable tart, baking it ahead of dinner and chilling it, so we could eat it after our evening exercise without prep time. After surveying the interwebs for recipes, I created my own.

And it was delicious. G made many bold exclamations of just how tasty it was. And I agree.

Summer Vegetable Tart
Pre-bake a pastry crust. I used my favorite pie crust recipe and draped it in a 9 inch tart pan. I only baked it about 15 minutes, but next time I would bake it longer, as the final product wasn't crispy enough.

Survey your stock of fresh produce. Here's what I used, but you can definitely improvise.

1 clove of garlic, roasted
1 medium cranberry red potato, very thinly sliced
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
2 big leaves of chard, pulled off the stem, cut into ribbons, and sauteed until cooked down
1/2 of a red onion, caramelized with fresh thyme
1/2 tomato, thinly sliced
several sprigs of fresh thyme
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a bit of milk, salt, and pepper
shredded wisconsin parmesan style cheese

Rub the roasted garlic on the bottom of the crust. Sprinkle some parm all over the crust. Line the crust with a layer of potatoes, then zucchini. Sprinkle the sauteed chard and caramelized onions over top. Arrange the sliced tomatoes in a lovely pattern, place the thyme over top. Pour the egg mixture over the entire pan, tilting the pan ever so slightly to make sure the mixture is evenly distributed. Sprinkle another layer of parm.

Bake at 350 or 375 until egg mixture is set and cheese is browned, about 50 minutes.

*notes: you could use more eggs if you want this to be more quiche-like. I only had 2 left, hence my decision. Also, fewer eggs means that the veggies shine more. I also used just a skiff of cheese as an accent, though you could add cheese between all layers if you wanted to.

You can eat this tart hot, warm, or chilled. We ate it chilled, with salads, and iced tea. Later, we enjoyed fresh blueberry peach crisp with whipped cream.

Ahh, summer. You're so utterly delicious.


  1. I think I might have to try to make this. Sounds fantastic!

  2. Absolutely beautiful summer routine! :) :) :) I'm a podcast girl, too. Love them! Did you hear the Fresh Air episode recently about Emily Dickinson?