Sunday, April 1, 2012

caramelized garlic tart

{three heads of garlic in one little pie - yum}

Last night we went to our friends house for a BBQ. It was a potluck and we had promised to bring an appetizer. What says BBQ like a caramelized garlic tart....I'm not sure what I was thinking. The good news is that the tart was yummy so it didn't really matter that it was a totally off-beat addition to the party. On the way to our friend's house Jeff kept saying, we should have made chicken wings Em, we should have made chicken wings. Next time I'll have to remember the context, opps!

Yotam Ottolenghi has not disappointed us yet. This tart is another of his creations. Jeff described it as "absolutely amazing" and our host for the evening requested that next time we get together we have it again. I think that means we have another winner. Thank you Yotam for single-handedly convincing my husband a meal can be complete without meat (although in addition to the tart Jeff had three burgers...)

My only issue with the tart is the puff pastry. I have never used it before and I have to say I was not a big fan. The crust shrank when I baked it (even though I lined it with parchment and used beans in lieu of pie weights). It didn't puff up nearly as much as I thought it would either. Way to not live up to your name puff pastry. It wasn't a big deal, but next time I would take the extra time and make a regular pie crust from scratch.

Caramelizing the garlic (the recipe calls for three whole heads, it seems like a lot, but just go for it, the taste is so mellow and the garlic is so creamy it doesn't overpower the cheese and the herbs) was a little intimidating. I always get nervous adding water to a hot pan with oil in it. Does anyone have and advice about how to avoid explosions? The addition was uneventful this time, but we've had issues in the past which always makes me nervous.

I think I am sending mixed messages about this dish. I started off saying it was amazing and have criticized it ever since. I really liked it, I swear! It is simpler than I let on: bake the crust, caramelize the garlic, then toss in cheese and a simple custard with fresh herbs. I wouldn't make this on a weeknight necessarily (the garlic takes awhile to get nice and brown and sticky) but I would make it again for a lunch or a "light" supper. Of course I use light in the loosest since of the term, the tart is full of cheese and has a healthy dose of creme fraiche, but like I said about the garlic, just go for it! You won't regret it.



You can find the recipe here:

{would it be disingenuous to say this thyme is from my garden?}

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