Hazelnut Honey Tart

Hazelnut Honey Tart

Filbert and Honey Tart
–inspired by a recipe of Piper Davis’ (owner of Grand Central Bakery) in The Chef’s Collaborative Cookbook by Ellen Jackson

This is a simple, rich tart. It’s sort of the Oregon version of a pecan pie but much less sweet and with a higher nut to custard ratio. You’ll need a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom.

Serves 10 +

½ recipe of this pie dough made with 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 all purpose flour (or your favorite pie/tart dough)
2 cups toasted filberts*
Scant ¾ cup honey
½ cup butter (1 stick/8 tablespoons)
Generous 1/3 cup heavy cream
Scant ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whiskey or bourbon (optional)
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toast filberts in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes until very fragrant and a couple shades darker. Cool and then rub off as many skins as you can.

Roll out the dough into an 11-inch or slightly larger round. Press the dough into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough carefully into the base and up the sides and fold any overhang back over onto itself and integrate back into sides and set in the freezer for 5 minutes. Prick the base of the dough half-a-dozen times with fork.

Place a piece of parchment paper or a buttered piece of foil onto the chilled dough. Fill the tart with pie weights or dry beans. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust is just beginning to color. Remove tart from oven and remove paper or foil and pie weights. Leave tart on the baking sheet.

While the tart crust is blind baking make the filling.

Heat the honey and butter in a heavy saucepan until boiling. Boil it hard for a minute and then whisk in the cream. It will bubble up significantly. Pour the caramel into a bowl. Whisk occasionally to speed cooling. When no longer hot, whisk in the salt, vanilla and whiskey, if using. Then whisk in the eggs one at a time.

Turn the oven down to 325.

Cover the bottom of the pre-baked tart with the filberts. Carefully pour the custard over the nuts and put the tart, still on the baking sheet, in the oven. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until custard is just set. Cool completely on a rack.
Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.


Scraps, Leftovers, Odd Bits. . . and How to Use What We Have

caesar salad

People tend to give me food. One friend always passes on his green onion tops after he uses the white parts for curry pastes. Last weekend I left a party with a jar of leftover Caesar salad dressing and a bag of extra croutons. A neighbor gave me a head of lettuce on its last legs the other day. I love these bits. They are the fodder for my cook-with-what-you-have kitchen and my deep-seeded joy in making something out of nothing.  People seem to know that I’ll both use and appreciate them, which I in turn, appreciate!

These gifts bestowed on me have me thinking both about how much many of us have and how simple it can be to eat well if you have access to the basics. There’s been a lot of writing and discussion about wasted food (or more commonly referred to as food waste though I think the semantics are important) this year. It is a huge and critical topic and I am beginning to think about how this blog and all my Cook With What You Have work, can more explicitly be a resource for decreasing waste and sharing our bounty with others.

So, whether you have an appreciative friend or neighbor or want to get more creative yourself, I am eager to talk more about how we can use all we buy to the fullest and how we can share our bounty with those in need.

Wishing you a very happy, resourceful and fulfilling holiday season!

P.S. If someone on your gift list this season likes to cook or might be looking for inspiration in the kitchen, with vegetables, or likes to cook with their family, a gift subscription to the Cook With What You Have Seasonal Recipe Collection might just be the ticket! It won’t clutter anyone’s closet and it is the gift that keeps on giving. . . in the best of ways!

Caesar Salad

Whether you use the classic Romaine or use the Escarole or any of the other hardy chicories that are this season’s salad greens here in the Pacific Northwest, this is a lovely dish to brighten up any holiday meal.

I can eat just this for dinner. It’s tangy and fresh and rich from the egg in the dressing. The little bit of anchovy rounds things out without being overpowering. Good, fresh eggs from happy chickens will make it even better.

Serves 4-6 depending on appetites and what else is being served

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons good olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4-5 flat anchovy filets (or more to taste)
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
Freshly grated black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
1 large head of Romaine lettuce, washed, leaves cut in half lengthwise and then cut into 1 1/2 inch ribbons or Sugarloaf, Escarole or any other hearty lettuce
1 1/2 cups croutons or toast a slice or two of good crusty bread and tear it into bite-sized pieces

You can either use a food processor or a mortar and pestle. If using the latter, put the garlic, anchovy, pepper and salt in it and pound it into a smooth-ish paste. Scoop the paste out of the mortar and put it into a bowl. Then whisk in the lemon juice and egg yolk and then slowly add the oil and finally 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. If using a food processor start with the garlic, anchovy, lemon juice and salt and then add the ingredients in the same order. Stir the parmesan at the end after you’ve removed the dressing from the processor.

Toss dressing with lettuce, top with croutons and some more freshly grated Parmesan.

Mustard Greens & Broccoli & a Survey

broccoli and white beansThese are the green bits of inspiration I’ve had all week thanks to my neighborhood farmers’ market. I document all these experiments as I continue to improve my Seasonal Recipe Collection to provide a deep, beautiful resource to anyone who likes to cook, wants to cook more, eat more vegetables, get out of a rut, save money, etc. And here’s a super short survey I’d love to have you fill out if you do subscribe to the Recipe Collection (and you’ll be entered to win a treat from me)! And if you don’t, maybe you’d like to subscribe or give a subscription to a friend as a gift that does not add clutter but makes for happy eaters!

Now back to the green inspiration . . . A pot of white beans, mostly destined for a soup to take to a friend who recently had a baby, turned into a quick lunch with nothing more than broccoli, salt and a little olive oil.

Israeli couscous with broccoli and sharp cheddar that I’d made for my son’s school lunch made enough that I could have it for lunch one day enlivened with thinly sliced, fresh mustard greens and more good olive oil.

israeli couscous with mustard greens

Said white beans were re-heated and also complemented by fresh mustard greens, hot pepper and olive oil.

Testing a new savory tart crust recipe the filling became sautéed mustard greens, garlic, eggs, nutmeg and a little milk.

Broccoli and cauliflower sautéed with cumin seeds and a bit of hot pepper and cooked until nicely browned and fragrant made a lovely side.

And finally today I made up a curry of daikon and mustard greens to populate the new “daikon” page on my Seasonal Recipe Collection.  Daikon is fairly new to me and I’m finding all sorts of delicious ways to use this radish in the brassica family that is loaded with Vitamin C, calcium and also sorts of good things, not to mention plenty of crunch!

daikon mustard green curry

These things all took minutes to make and were good, simple dishes. The vegetables were flavorful and bright and I’m reminded, as I am every winter, just what vibrant, green vegetables we have in addition to the fabulously flexible and nourishing winter squashes and roots.

Happy cooking!