indian savory tarts: cauliflower and spinach / lamb and celeriac

the inspiration for these indian style tarts came from an acute hankering for samosas. i adapted this less-heavy, no-fry version with paule caillat's no-chill-no-fuss french pastry recipe . . . seriously, it's easy as pie.
in the vegetarian indian tart i combined roasted cauliflower with fresh spinach and sautéd leeks. i served it with silky, coconut lentil dahl (recipe) and an uptown dollop of chutney on top (recipe).
the meat-lovers indian tart is fused with cardamom and saffron. i served it with an orange bell pepper coulis (recipe), and topped it same as above, with a baroque spoonful of chutney.
i almost always make 2 versions of an entree for a dinner party: 
1 veggie-lovers / 1 carnivore or fish-lovers. i put the same love and attention toward each one so that way everyone's tastes are satisfied.
filling ingredients (each tart serves 4 as an entrée / 8 as a first course)
–make the filling ingredients several days ahead and refrigerate / bring up to room-temp. before filling the pre-baked tart shells
• 1/2 head of cauliflower, florets sliced to 1/4" thick
• 3-4 handfuls of baby spinach, finely chopped
• 6 med. leeks, thinly sliced (white part only)
• 1/2 celeriac bulb, thinly cut 1/2 rectangles
• 1/2 lb. ground lamb

• 6 large cloves of garlic, minced
• safflower oil to drizzle
• peanut oil to sauté
• 1 and 1/2 tsp. coriander
1 and 1/2 cumin
• 1/2 tsp. garam masala (optional)
• 3 tbls. grated ginger
• 8 cardamom pods
• pinch of saffron soaked in 1 tbls. hot water for 15 min.
1. heat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. spread the sliced cauliflower onto a large rimmed baking sheet. drizzle with safflower oil, and turn them with your hands to coat them. sprinkle with salt and pepper. roast for about 20 min. or so until the edges begin to blacken.
3. sprinkle the roasted cauliflower with 1 tbls. grated ginger, 1/2 tsp. each of cumin and coriander, and the garam masala if you are adding it. allow it to cool completely.
4. wash and spin dry the spinach. finely chop and store in a zip-lock bag.
5. coat a large skillet with peanut oil and heat over a med-low flame. add 1/2 of the sliced leeks, 1/2 of the minced garlic. season with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft, careful not to brown. cool this mixture and store in its own container (this leek/garlic mixture is for the veg. tart)
6. in the same skillet, add the celeriac and enough cold water to almost cover. heat until it starts to bubble. cover and reduce to a simmer. cook until the celeriac is el dente.
7. drain and cool the celeriac in a colander.
8. wipe out the same skillet, and heat a little more peanut oil on med. add the ground lamb, the other 1/2 of the sliced leeks and minced garlic, 1 tsp. each of cumin and coriander, 2 tbls. grated ginger, cardamom pods, the saffron and soaking liquid, and salt and pepper.
9. cook the lamb mixture, stirring occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink. after the meat has cooled, remove the cardamom pods.
10. allow all of the ingredients to cool completely, and store them in individual containers in the refrigerator.

day of serving:
1. bring the pre-cooked filling ingredients above up to room temperature.
2. make 2 pre-baked french pastry tart shells - paule caillat's french pastry recipe on david lebovitz's blog
3. in a large mixing bowl, whisk together:
• 1 and 1/2 cups of 2% milk
• 1 cup of plain greek yogurt
• 3-4 handfuls of finely crumbled feta cheese
• 4 eggs
• kosher salt and cracked pepper

- for the vegetarian cauliflower and spinach indian tart:
4. line one pre-baked pastry tart shell with slices of the roasted cauliflower.
5. layer over the cauliflower with the raw chopped spinach and cooked leeks and garlic.
6. pour 1/2 of the milk, yogurt, cheese and egg mixture into the veg. tart until it almost comes to the top.
- for the lamb and celeriac indian tart:
7. line the bottom of the 2nd pre-baked tart shell with the cooked lamb mixture.
8. make a layer of the cooked celeriac and ginger over the lamb.
9. pour the other 1/2 of the milk mixture into the lamb tart.
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10. dust the tops of both tarts with paprika.
11. bake the tarts for 20-30 min. at 410 degrees until browned and bubbling.
12. remove from the oven. allow the tarts to set for 10-15 min. or so before removing from the tart pans to serve.

1 comment:

deb said...

Gorgeous as ever!