It’s the holidays and we all know what that means..time to cook and bake, and eat all the delicious treats of the season..like this savory 3-Cheese Butternut Squash Tart with Bacon. Can we say yay?
It’s so easy to make with some store-bought puff pastry because who has time to make their own with so many goodies to make and presents to wrap? And delicious holiday food to eat?
It’s got a gorgeous crispy, buttery crust topped with ricotta and Parmesan and Gruyere cheese, roasted butternut squash with maple syrup and of course, bacon. Then it’s topped with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and some fresh thyme along with some sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Sounds pretty perfect to me.
First, defrost and roll out your dough. Cut 1/2 inch strips around the edges to double up to make a pastry border and brush it with egg wash. Pop it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Next, drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper, and some garlic powder over the butternut squash, then drizzle it with some maple syrup and roast it for about 15 minutes.
Cook that delicious bacon, drain and set aside to crumble on the tart later.
Whip up your ricotta with an egg, salt and pepper and some shredded Parmesan cheese.
Spread it on top of the tart pastry evenly. (Repeat all steps with the second pastry throughout.)
Top it with some of that luscious grated Gruyere cheese.
Place the roasted squash on top along with the bacon. Sprinkle some fresh thyme on top.
Then simply bake it for 30 minutes on 375 F, then drizzle it with some balsamic glaze, cut into squares and devour!
This delicious savory tart features three luscious cheeses (ricotta, gruyere and parmesan) along with crispy bacon and roasted butternut squash and thyme. It makes a great appetizer for the holidays!
2 large eggs
14 ounces frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed
2 packages butternut squash, precut into 1-2" cubes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
6-8 slices bacon
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon whole milk or cream
2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
Balsamic glaze, for garnish
fresh thyme, for garnish
Roll out 1 piece of puff pastry into a large rectangle. Cut a 1/2 inch border around the edges and place the strips on the edges of the pastry sheet to create a border crust. Prick holes around the pastry to avoid puffing.
Beat 1 egg and brush the pastry edges and repeat same procedure with second pastry sheet; chilling both for 1/2 an hour in the fridge.
While pastry is chilling, preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Cut the butternut squash into small chunks and drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper and garlic powder.
Bake for 15 minutes and set aside.
Cook bacon according to package directions and drain on paper towels. Crumble once cooled and set aside.
Reduce heat in oven to 375.
Mix the ricotta cheese with one beaten egg, parmesan cheese and additional salt and pepper.
Remove pastry from the fridge and spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the tops of both.
Sprinkle with shredded gruyere cheese and crumbled bacon.
Top both pastries with the butternut squash and sprinkle with some fresh thyme.
Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and puffed around the edges.
Cut into squares after cooling on a rack and serve warm.
Garnish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze on top and additional fresh thyme if desired.
I love making savory tarts and pies, but unfortunately I don’t love the carbs and calories that come along with them. It’s also Summertime, and I’m trying to cook and eat lighter than usual…and the Fall season will come soon enough with all that yummy comfort food!
I’ve been experimenting lately with alternatives to pasta and dough – things like zucchini, cauliflower, almond flour, and quinoa. Not only are they lighter, but also , gluten-free and less carbs than traditional flours and equally as satisfying and tasty!
I found a recipe on Cooking Light for a savory Fall tart made in a toasted quinoa crust and decided to experiment a little with the crust, fillings and flavors. MISSION ON.
I love the flavor of the nutty toasted quinoa, which is done in the oven and gives a nice depth of flavor and crunch to the tart crust.
I mixed in some Bob’s Red Mill almond flour, corn starch, Parmesan cheese and an egg for binding the quinoa, then added a little garlic salt and olive oil to bring it all together for the crust. Then I pressed the quinoa mixture into four small tart pans and baked for about 10 minutes before filling them and baking again.
While the tart crusts were baking, I made a savory filling with mascarpone and cheddar cheese and spooned in this delightful cheesy goodness on to the par-baked crusts.
I also cooked up some crispy gorgeous bacon in the oven while the tarts were baking..(for about 20 minutes or so)..
then chopped it to pieces and layered it on top of the cheeses. HELLO PRETTIES. Come to me.
Next I started filling the tarts with my blanched cauliflower and baby peas,
more Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil,
popped them back in the oven..
and baked these cuties for another 5-10 minutes and let them cool on a wire rack for a few…
the anticipation of these delicious things in my mouth is MOUNTING.
Once the tarts were cooled a bit, I garnished them with some fresh chopped basil, chives and freshly cracked black pepper and a few red pepper flakes. Mini Green Goddesses!
And Oh Holy Delicious.
This is a great base recipe for any savory tart really – feel free to substitute different fillings for the tarts depending on the season..butternut squash and spinach in the Fall… corn, tomatoes and zucchini in the Summer… roasted carrots, potatoes and Gruyere in the Winter..asparagus and leeks in the Spring…oh, the ideas are endless!
Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Tarts in a Toasted Quinoa Crust
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: Makes four 4 5/7-inch tarts
Serving Size: 1 tart
This is a gluten-free tart recipe made with a toasted quinoa crust, filled with a savory filling of mascarpone and cheddar cheese, bacon, cauliflower, peas topped with Parmesan, and fresh basil and chives.
Toasted Quinoa Tart Crust:
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup almond meal flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup baby green peas, frozen
4-5 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
1/2 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, Jack, or Gouda)
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, for garnish
1 tablespoon finely minced chives, for garnish
Make the Toasted Quinoa Tart Crusts:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place quinoa on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden brown; cool.
Place half of quinoa in a food processor; pulse 30 seconds.
Transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining toasted quinoa, almond meal, cornstarch, and salt to bowl; stir to combine.
Add oil and egg; stir until mixture is crumbly but holds together when pressed.
Press into bottom and up sides of four 4 5/7-inch removable-bottom fluted tart pans coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden, but not completely cooked (you will put them back in the oven later after you fill them with the veggies, bacon and cheese.)
Prep the Tart fillings:
While the tart crusts are baking, chop the cauliflower into small florets and measure out the baby peas.
Blanch the veggies in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes, then drain and rinse them in very cold water or shock them in an ice bath, set aside.
Cook the bacon and drain, chop into small chunks, set aside.
Measure out the mascarpone, Cheddar and Parmesan cheese, and chop basil and chives, set aside.
Fill the Tart Crusts:
Spread the mascarpone cheese evenly in bottom of each tart crust.
Top each tart with shredded cheese, then crumbled bacon.
Arrange cauliflower and peas evenly over cheese and bacon mixture on the tarts and drizzle with some olive oil, Parmesan cheese and black pepper.
Bake tarts for another 5-7 minutes in the oven.
Remove tarts from the pans; cool completely on a wire rack.
Garnish with fresh chopped basil and chives, serve warm.
The holidays are here, and what better way to celebrate by throwing a holiday cocktail party with friends and family? I’ve teamed up with Colavita this season to celebrate with all of you, by creating some delicious Holiday Appetizer recipes using their World Selection andPrivate SelectionExtra Virgin Olive Oils and Flavored Cooking Oil blends.
Colavita Olive Oil Giveaway!
*THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED – Congratulations to Manda Kay, the winner of our Colavita holiday giveaway! Hope you cook up lots of goodies with your EVOO & Balsamic Glace! Happy Holidays 🙂
I’ve teamed up with Colavita this holiday season and giving away some of their delicious olive oils and balsamic vinegars so you can celebrate the season by cooking up some holiday goodies of your own! The winner will receive: one (1) 3/4 liter of Colavita Private Selection Fruttato EVOO, one (1) 32 oz Roasted Garlic EVOO plus one (1) 29.5 oz bottle of their Balsamic Glace.
All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave me a comment at the end of this post telling me what your favorite Holiday Appetizer to make with olive oil is.
*For extra entries, just follow me on twitter, facebook, pinterest, google+, tumblr or sign up for my newsletter (at the top right hand side of this page) and tell me you did so in the comments section. **As an added bonus, Colavita is also offering a 25% discount to all of my readers on any purchase in their online store. Simply enter the code ‘AG25’ to receive the discount upon checkout!
**This giveaway begins on Sunday, Dec 9th and ends Sunday Dec 23rd at midnight EST, where one person will be selected by random from the comments section below.**
Colavita World Selection Olive Oils are a new collection of extra virgin olive oils exploring the tradition in countries outside of italy from estates and farms in Australia, Argentina, California, Greece, Spain and Portugal as well as other prime olive oil growing nations. Read more about a few of my favorites that I used in my recipes below!
Colavita 100% Californian EVOO
The warm climate in the “Golden State” of California fosters both grape and olive cultivation perfect for wines and olive oils. The Colavita 100% Californian EVOO is pressed from olives grown in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys of California. The mild flavor makes this oil perfect for all culinary applications. Enrich your favorite meal with a drizzle of EVOO and a glass of wine.
Colavita Roasted Garlic EVOO is a product originally created exclusively for BJ’s Wholesale Stores. To many it has become the “gateway product” that exposes customers to the entire Colavita family of products. It is raved about on their online store so we wanted to share it with all of you! It’s the perfect finishing oil and wonderful for enhancing garlic already present in your dish. Try it on Garlic Bread or my Homemade Pita Chips (recipe below).
The Argentina EVOO was a hands-down favorite at this year’s New York Wine and Food Festival. Arbequino, Coratina and Manzanilla olive cultivars grown in the Catamarca and Mendoza regions of Argentina give this EVOO and intense, fruity aroma and taste. Pair this EVOO with soups, roasted fish, grilled vegetables and red meat for an unbeatable duo.
Colavita’s Fruttato Oil has recently been inducted into the Colavita “Private Selection” line. This line was created to highlight the products which have received the honor of being marked a Colavita family favorite. It is made by cold pressing new harvest olives just before their peak ripeness. The result is a full bodied EVOO which is slightly pungent with peppery flavor notes.
This Colavita Premium Blend is an all-purpose cooking, frying, and salad dressing oil which combines the delicate hint of roasted garlic in a light Canola Oil and Virgin Olive Oil Blend. It is a versatile oil that is naturally low in saturated fats and has no trans fats.
This is a lovely tart recipe that combines sweet and savory flavors. The caramelized onions give it a sweet flavor with a hint of fig balsamic vinegar, balanced out by creamy ricotta, nutty Gruyere cheese, fresh herbs and crispy pancetta.
1 package pancetta (8 thin slices)
3 tablespoons Colavita Fruttato EVOO
2 sweet Vidalia onions, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Fresh ground black pepper
1-1 1/2 tablespoons Fig balsamic vinegar (Tavern Direct brand)
1 cup fresh ricotta
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoons dried Fines Herbes (or 2 tablespoons fresh herbs)
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 frozen pie shell, defrosted, or homemade tart dough
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat and cook pancetta until browned but not fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Drain fat from pan and place pancetta on paper towels to drain to the side. Once cooled, chop pancetta into small pieces.
Peel onions, remove top and bottom stems and cut in half lengthwise.
Slice onions thin (about 1/8" thick or desired thickness).
In the same saute pan, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium high heat.
Add onions and cook over medium high for about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle brown sugar, salt and pepper over onions and stir well, cook another 10-20 minutes, reducing heat to medium low if onions start to brown too quickly.
Continue cooking and stirring onions over medium low for another 15 minutes, add a few teaspoons of water if desired.
Add the fig balsamic vinegar to the onions, turn heat down to low and let cook until they are caramelized, soft and sweet, up to an hour total.
Combine the ricotta, egg yolk and Fines Herbes together in small mixing bowl.
Spread the ricotta mixture over the pie shell in a 9" tart pan with removeable bottom.
Sprinkle Gruyere cheese over ricotta.
Top with caramelized onions and pancetta.
Bake the tart in the oven for approximately 30-45 minutes until pastry and filling are golden brown, and pancetta is crispy.
Let tart cool on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Serve tart cut into wedges.
If you prefer to make your own tart dough rather than using a frozen pie crust, Martha Stewart has a great recipe for Flaky Tart Dough on her website at http://www.marthastewart.com/319448/flaky-tart-dough
Hot Artichoke dip is one of my all time favorite holiday dip recipes, and this one is extra special, using Colavita's California EVOO, lemon zest and minced garlic with lots of gooey cheese. Instead of using mayonnaise, I substitute a light sour cream to cut some of the fat and calories. Serve with my homemade baked pita chips or crackers.
2 tablespoons Colavita California extra virgin olive oil
1 package frozen artichokes, defrosted
1 tablespoon minced garlic
zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
Garlic salt with parsley (to taste)
Fresh cracked black pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded light monterey jack cheese, plus 1/2 cup for topping
1/2 cup light sour cream
dash of cayenne (optional)
dash of paprika (for garnish)
1 green onion, sliced thin (for garnish)
Heat oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add artichokes and minced garlic, saute about 5-7 minutes until heated through.
Add lemon juice, zest, garlic salt and pepper, mix well and cook another few minutes, set aside.
Meanwhile, add shredded cheeses and sour cream together in a mixing bowl.
Add sauteed artichokes, garlic and lemon to cheese and sour cream.
Sprinkle with a dash of cayenne (if desired), mix well and transfer to a casserole dish.
Sprinkle additional monterey jack cheese over the top and bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted on top.
Let cool a few minutes, sprinkle with paprika and green onions. Serve with homemade baked pita chips (recipe follows), crackers or crudites.
Making homemade pita chips is super easy and way better than buying the storebought kind for your holiday party. Mine are made with whole wheat pita bread, drizzled with EVOO, and sprinkled with garlic salt and cumin for some extra flavor. So delicious and crispy straight out of the oven and so addicting you'll never buy them again! Serve with Hot Parmesan Garlic Artichoke Dip or any of your other favorite party dips.
6 whole wheat pita rounds
2 tablespoons Colavita California EVOO
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut pita rounds into triangles (6 wedges per pita).
Lay out pita wedges on a baking sheet and brush each wedge with olive oil.
Sprinkle garlic salt and cumin on top.
Flip over pita wedges, repeat coating with oil, salt and cumin.
Place baking sheet(s) in oven and cook pita wedges for about 15 minutes (checking to make sure they don't burn!)
Let cool, and serve with Hot Parmesan Garlic Artichoke Dip.
Everyone loves cocktail meatballs at holiday parties! These lovelies have a hint of lemon and sage and are light and fluffy, made with ground pork or chicken. They are first browned on the stovetop and then finished in the oven until golden brown. They're delicious alone, or dipped in a hot pepper jelly (Williams-Sonoma brand is great), balsamic pear jam (there's one by Academia Barilla that is to die for) or simply dipped in balsamic vinegar glace.
Red Pepper jelly, for dipping (Williams Sonoma brand)
Balsamic Pear jam, for dipping (Academia Barilla brand)
Colavita Balsamic Glace, for dipping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove crusts from bread and tear into small pieces in a large mixing bowl, add milk and let soak for 10-15 minutes.
Mix in ground pork or chicken, sage, garlic, onion, lemon juice and zest, cheese, pepper flakes, egg, salt and pepper with soaked bread crumbs with your hands in a claw-like motion to keep meatballs light and fluffy.
Roll meat mixture into small to medium size meatballs (small makes approximately 36, medium makes approximately 18).
Heat olive oils in a large saute pan over medium heat (if not using cooking oil blend, mix EVOO with a tablespoon of butter to avoid temperature from getting too high and splattering).
Cook meatballs in batches in the oil for about 5 minutes each batch until meatballs are browned on all sides, drain on paper towels.
Once all meatballs are browned, place them on a large rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray to avoid sticking.
Bake in the oven for approximately another 15 minutes until cooked through and to keep warm.
Top with additional garlic salt (if desired), fresh chopped sage, and serve with red pepper jelly and balsamic pear jam, and Colavita Balsamic Glace for dipping.
These zucchini sticks are a great appetizer for any holiday party. They have a light crunchy coating of Japanese Panko seasoned bread crumbs and are finished with a splash of lemon and sprinkling of sea salt. They go perfect with the cool and creamy yogurt dill sauce or even a ranch dressing for dipping.
CRUNCHY ZUCCHINI STICKS
Colavita Roasted Garlic Cooking Oil Blend
4 medium zucchini, cut into half, into long strips
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cups Panko Japanese-style seasoned breadcrumbs
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 large eggs
Sea salt, for sprinkling, to taste
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Fresh minced dill, for garnish
YOGURT DILL SAUCE
1 cup of Greek yogurt
2-3 tablespoon minced dill
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
CRUNCHY ZUCCHINI STICKS
Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large deep saute pan, about 2 inches high.
Trim ends off zucchini, cut in half and then in half again lengthwise.
Cut zucchini into large strips about 1/2 an inch thick.
Pour the flour and Panko breadcrumbs into one large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Beat eggs in a separate bowl.
Dip zucchini sticks in egg, shaking off excess, then dip in bowl to coat with flour and breadcrumbs.
Place coated zucchini on a baking sheet.
Fry in batches until golden brown, draining excess oil on another baking sheet lined with paper towels.
Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top of zucchini and sprinkle with fresh dill and additional sea salt to taste.
YOGURT DILL SAUCE
In a medium bowl, mix together greek yogurt, dill, salt and pepper to taste.
*This is a sponsored post by Colavita, but as usual, all opinions expressed are my own. I received 5 bottles of Colavita olive oil samples to create the recipes for this article and holiday promotion. Winners of the giveaway will receive the prizes directly from Colavita by mail and should expect 2-3 weeks delivery time due to the holidays.
**All photographs, recipes and copy are copyrighted by Kristen Hess/The Artful Gourmet 2012 and cannot be republished without my permission or credit on the reposted original material from this article or website.
With all the cooking I’ve been doing lately, I’ve decided to mix it up and experiment with some baking. I’m obsessed with savory tarts and quiches – perfect comfort food for this cold Winter we’re having in New York. I also haven’t played with puff pastry too much, so I though a free-form Spinach, Artichoke & Ricotta tart would be fun to make for my sweetie on Valentine’s Day.
This recipe is fairly easy to make and healthy with all the veggies loaded on top. The light and creamy ricotta base has lemon zest, thyme and fines herbs to give it a bright, fresh flavor. It’s topped with sautéed fresh spinach and artichokes with a little bit of garlic and chile flakes, and I also used a combination of two flavor-infused oils by Tavern Direct – one with Lemon and Pepper, and the other with Chile Pepper and Garlic to give it a little more kick. You could also substitute the veggies with some zucchini and yellow squash and some shallots or sweet potato with bacon and kale. The tart is topped off with four shredded Italian cheeses, then baked to a flaky, golden brown perfection. I used a frozen puff pastry, which is convenient to use, but if you prefer you can make your own puff pastry dough, which is a bit more time and effort but delicious all the same – Martha Stewart has a great recipe on her site. This scrumptious, savory tart is great served with a green salad and a crisp glass of white wine.
1 15 oz container Ricotta cheese
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tbsp fines herbes, dried
1 egg yolk
Rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp olive oil (can substitute lemon, garlic or chile-infused oils for more flavor)
3 handfuls fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 pkg frozen artichokes, drained and chopped into large chunks
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes (add more or less to adjust heat)
1 puff pastry sheet
1 cup shredded Italian cheeses (Fontina, Parmesan, Romano, Mozzarella)
Kosher or Sea Salt, to taste
Fresh ground garlic and black pepper seasoning, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, thyme, fines herbes, lemon rind and egg yolk until smooth. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add artichokes and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add spinach and saute until it begins to wilt, another 1-2 minutes. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes and saute 1 additional minute. Remove from heat, cover with saucepan lid and set aside.
Roll out pastry dough and sprinkle with a little bit of flour. Score around the edges with a sharp knife to make a 1 inch border and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Melt the butter and minced garlic on the stove or in the microwave for about 1 minute. With a pastry brush, coat the entire pastry sheet with the garlic butter.
Spread the ricotta mixture within the border on to the pastry sheet.
Top with spinach, artichoke, garlic and red pepper topping.
Scatter the grated cheeses over the entire tart and season with salt and pepper or garlic pepper seasoning to taste.
Place the tart in the oven and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden brown and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for about 5-10 minutes.
Slice and serve warm with a green salad and a glass of crisp white wine. Delectable.