Paris holds a big space in my heart. People always talk about how romantic it is there, how great the shopping boutiques are, how the French are just born gorgeous, and not to forget that the architecture will leave you speechless. Yes those things all hold true, but more importantly the food is off the charts. It far surpasses all expectations I ever had. It’s full of all the delicious things that we are taught to eat in moderation, yet the French seem perfectly healthy. I have to admit, the first couple of times I visited the great city of lights I ate myself silly. I didn’t have any reservations about what passed my lips. I thought ” I’ll deal with the repercussions when I get back home.” Almond croissants, gruyere cheese, chocolate, chicken pate, pistachio macaroons, crepes, gougeres, foie gras in brioche, croque monsieur, seafood stews that were cream based over puff pastry…I could go on and on. What I wasn’t prepared for was the savory tart. So perfect in every way, it made my taste buds dance with joy. I made a nice drawer for it in my memory bank, and filed it away.
One day a good girlfriend of mine called and said “I’m in your neighborhood! Can I stop by? Got anything to eat? I’m beyond famished!” I said “of course, come over.” It was set she would be at my house in one hour. I didn’t have time to go to the market, and I was running a little low on groceries at that moment. I panicked…I looked in my fridge only to find some left over mashed potatoes, a head of cauliflower, cheese and some packaged pie crust. What was I going to do? I immediately remembered the savory tart I had loved so much in Paris. I went to my pantry to find I had two large onions on hand, without hesitation I sliced them up and throw them into a pan with some butter. It was time to start building my rendition of the savory tart…
Ingredients for Savory Tart:
1 – box of Pillsbury pie crust (2 packets come per box, you’ll need both)
1 1/2 – cups garlic mushroom smashed Idaho potatoes (instructions on how to make listed below)
1/2 – cup parmesan cheese shavings
1 1/2 – cups sharp cheddar cheese (grated) (I use Tillamook)
1 1/2 – cups sauteed onion (instructions on how to make listed below)
2 – cups grilled cauliflower (instructions on how to make listed below)
1 – cup gruyere cheese (grated)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees:
Line 12″ round baking dish with pie crust… (use both packets to form a big enough crust, allow excess to drape over edge of baking dish). Poke a few fork marks into the crust.
Then scoop in smashed Idaho potatoes and smooth across with the back of a spoon.
Then add parmesan cheese shavings and grated sharp cheddar cheese.
Then spread sauteed onions on top of potato/cheese layer and distribute evenly. Next repeat layering with the grilled cauliflower.
Lastly top with 1 cup of grated gruyere.
Fold up side of crust to encase edges of savory tart.
Then take a piece of aluminum foil and cover the edges of your tart so it doesn’t burn.
Bake for 35 minutes, then take the aluminum foil off and bake for another 15 minutes; a total of 50 minutes.
Serve with a simple green salad.
Ingredients for garlic mushroom smashed Idaho potatoes:
3 – large Idaho potatoes (Peeled and cut into 8 pieces)
1 – tablespoon minced garlic
1 – stick of butter
8 – large mushrooms (chopped)
1/2 – cup whipping cream
2 – tablespoons chopped green onion
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and boil pieces of potato for 20 minutes or until a fork can pierce through. Drain and place in a bowl and mash with a hand masher. Then in a frying pan place 2 tablespoons of butter with mushrooms and garlic and let saute for 5 minutes, then add the rest of the stick of butter to melt. Pour the butter garlic mushroom saute into the mashed potatoes along with the whipping cream and the chopped green onion, and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Smashed Idaho Potato Tip: Will taste better if made a few days ahead of time and placed in the fridge.
Ingredients for sauteed onions:
2 – large onions (sliced)
4 – tablespoons butter
1 – teaspoon dried basil
2 – teaspoons salt
1/2 – teaspoon pepper
1/2 – teaspoon garlic powder
2 – tablespoons white wine (Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc)
Melt down butter in a large frying pan, then add onion, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and let saute for 10 to 15 minutes over a medium high flame. Then add wine, mix well and let wine reduce for another 10 to 15 minutes. Mixing onions every 3 minutes or so. Then reserve in a bowl.
1 – large head of cauliflower (cut stalks off and just use the heads)
2 – tablespoons olive oil
1/2 – teaspoons chili flakes (the kind you put on pizza)
1 – teaspoon salt
1 – teaspoon pepper
In a large bowl mix together olive oil, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Then add your cauliflower heads and mix to cover with oil. Then grill your cauliflower to brown on each side ( I use my bar-b-que, but you can easily use a grill pan or a George Foreman) about 5 minutes on each side.