Spring can not get here fast enough. Sigh, we are still a full month away from the Equinox. This recipe is perfect when you need a reminder of that winter does not last forever. A slice with a cup of herbal tea is lovely as you pour over seed catalogues and dream of those first moments back in the garden. If you want to wait until April or May, consider this dish for a Sunday brunch with special friends and family. This tart is packed full of protein and ingredients that say “spring!” such as leeks, peas, new potatoes, fresh basil (or other herbs). You can experiment by substituting other obvious things such as real ricotta, spinach, capers, or smoked salmon.
Savory Green Tart
Blind bake two pre-made pie shells for 10 minutes at 350. Remove from oven and let cool.
Saute 1/2 of a thinly sliced onion in 1 TBSP of olive oil or butter until soft. Leeks make a great substitute if available.
In another pan, boil 6-10 very small red potatoes for 10 minutes. Remove , cool and slice.
Add the potatoes to your saute pan along with
- 2 TBSP of pesto
- 1/4 tsp of salt.
- 1 cup of cooked white rice
- Mix will and set aside.
To a bowl add 1 cup of frozen peas and 1 cup of grated zucchini. Set aside
To a blender add
- 1/2 cup of milk or dairy substitute
- 8oz of Pumfu or firm tofu, crumbled
- 7 oz of vegan or regular feta cheese crumbled
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
- 1 cup of chopped fresh basil
- Blend until smooth and set aside.
Assemble you tarts in the following order by roughly splitting in half….
- potato and rice mixture
- pea and zucchini mixture. Press down well with your fingers
- green mixture. Spooned in and spread flat with a knife.
Bake in the oven for at 350. Remove, let cool and serve. This tart is best served at room temperature. It gets more solid as it cools. I made two tarts and we enjoyed slices over several days as leftovers for lunch.
Basil is in the mint family. Typically it is an annual but will overwinter indoors. It is a very common garden herb used as a companion plant and insect repellant. A thin branching root produces several lush square stems growing 1-2 feet high. The leaves can vary from bright to dark green depending on the variety. Some types like Thai basil have purple in their oppositely arranged leaves. Leaves can be oval to spade shaped, toothed or smooth in their margins. Like others in the family, it has lots of small two lipped flowers that grow on racemes/spikes of 2-4 inches. These are a favorite of bumble bees and come in shades of white, red or purple. A distinguishing feature of Ocimum is the smell, similar in all varieties but with slightly different “notes”.
This plant warms, calms, and clears phlegm/damp. Historically basil has been used to treat all manner of digestive complaints such as cramps, vomiting, constipation, gas, low appetite, diarrhea, bacterial infections and inflammation. It stimulates the flow of breast milk, cures a headache, and calms a bad cough. Ocimum has been used for depression, the flu, fever, asthma, retained placenta, fever, anxiety, bronchitis, and fatigue. It works well to support the lungs.
Externally it has helped with acne, bug bites, fungal infections, sore muscles, and arthritis. The essential oils/scent make it useful in aromatherapy, ritual bathing/cleansing, beauty products and as incense.
Latin name: Ocimum basilicum
Parts Used: Leaves and flowers
Energetics:bitter, warm, dry, pungent
Spiritual/Emotional Uses: Integration, especially when two things seem contrary in nature. May be used to bring luck protection, or blessings to body, home or new relationships. Use it when there is conflict or negative energies in a situation. It is commonly used in ritual baths , especially for the dead.
Contraindications: Avoid large/therapeutic doses in pregnancy