Meatless Monday Fall Tart Recipe

Oct 2015

Comfort food is on the menu this Meatless Monday with a quiche-like fall tart recipe from Plenty-a visual treat packed with vibrant vegetable recipes from London’s Yotam Ottolenghi. This post is more about the concept and less about the recipe. One of the things I have learned about cooking this past year is to be more experimental.  When the basics are under your belt, let your creativity run loose.  Such is the case with this meal.

 An assortment of roasted vegetables make up the feast tucked inside a pie crust. Ricotta, feta, eggs and milk tie it all together.
 Now, lets get back to the cookbook.  This is one of my prized possessions in the kitchen.  I am not just a recipe reader, but one that likes to take the cookbook from start to finish and let my eyes feast on the photos and enjoy the story behind the chef. Anecdotes of family, travel and special ingredients fill the pages and immediately establish a relationship with the author.  He is sharing not just recipes, but segments of his storied life. Mr. O is not a vegetarian, but very aware of the environmental impacts of eating meat and fish. Combine that with the increased availability of both new and old vegetables, and he has found a readership at the ready for just such a book as Plenty.  The chef is someone who likes to take an ingredient and think of all the possibilities   His book melds cultures and draws on culinary heritages, resulting in unusual combinations that have probably never crossed your mind.
 And for me, that was the biggest takeaway from his story.  Look at what’s in season and draw on your knowledge.  Try unusual combinations of what you have on hand.  I always have a pastry crust in the freezer {i know it’s sacrilegious, but I’m not a great baker}. I used my basic quiche recipe of eggs, milk and cheese, but this time took a cue from Plenty and added feta and ricotta to the mix. Not something I think I would have ever tried on my own. Roasted squash, zucchini, peppers and onions, some thyme, I always have growing like a weed year round about the house, and halved cherry tomatoes were baked until golden.
 The tart was enjoyed by everyone that night, and I felt happiness with my new found confidence in the kitchen! Experiment with different recipes and cook with what’s in season.