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Savory Tarts

Tarts are great to serve for lunch or dinner. They can be accompanied by salad or soup. You can use different vegetables to create a colorful collage. Top them with fresh herbs when they come out of the oven and best of all serve them at room temp. This allows you to make them early. I made two using the same vegetables on each one and then since my husband is a meat eater, I sliced some precooked sausage and added that to one of the tarts. If you don't feel like making a crust then simply buy a brand you like and use it.

Ingredients: Serves 4-6

1 medium Zucchini, sliced thin

3 medium Tomatoes, sliced thin

8 Mushrooms, sliced thin

1 clove Garlic, minced

Olive oil

1 15 oz. container of Ricotta Cheese (I used part-skim)

1/2 c Mozzarella, shredded

1 t dried Garlic

2 T dried Oregano

2 T dried Basil

1 t Red Pepper Flakes

10 Fresh Basil Leaves,chopped

Zest of 1 Lemon

1/2 c Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Cooked Sausage of you choice (if using), sliced thin

Tart shell: (if making your own)

makes two 9 inch tart shells

1/2 c Whole Wheat Flour

1 1/2 c All-Purpose Flour

2 T Sugar

1 t Salt

12 T Olive Oil

6 T Cold Water

If making your own tart shells, put the flours, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Drizzle the olive oil over the flour mixture and pulse until it resembles coarse sand. Add the cold water and pulse until it begins to clump together like dough. Remove the blade and press bits of the dough into the tart shells, be sure to bring the dough up the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.

Thinly slice the vegetables. Lay the the zucchini on paper towels and sprinkle a little salt on the slices, Cover with more paper towels and gently press down to get some of the liquid out. Do the same with the tomatoes.

In a cold saute pan, put some olive oil and the garlic. Turn the heat to medium and when the garlic starts to cook, add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the pan is almost dry. Turn off the heat and let the mushrooms cool slightly.

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta cheese, the mozzarella and the dried herbs. Check to see if you need salt or if you need more seasoning. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Remove the tart shells from the freezer and cover them with aluminum foil. Press down and then put some pie weights in each tart. Blind bake them for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle each shell with some of the Parmesan cheese. Put them back into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Let cool slightly (about 15 minutes). Now divide the filling between the two tart shells and spread evenly across the bottom. Begin to layer the vegetables around the top overlapping slightly. Once the vegetables are on and the sausage, if using, lightly brush the tops of the vegetables with olive oil.

Put the tart back into the oven for about 30 minutes. The vegetables should be soft and some lightly browned. Remove from the oven and top with some of the fresh chopped basil. Allow to cool to room temp.


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