From time to time, I get hit with a serious case of longing for all things French. French fashion. French movies. French tableware. French chocolates. French food. In fact, it is quite alarming how I spend many hours at any given day waxing nostalgic about places I’ve travelled to and foods I’ve tasted in France.
My daughter always asks me when we can go to Paris. I want to say, “now!” but dear husband and I mutually agreed that we have to wait until she’s older so that she can actually make the most out of the experience. And anyway, we have 3 really small children right now, and it would be an absolute horror to bring 3 strollers to a trip. We’ve travelled with 2 kids before, but 3 kids totally changes the game! Perhaps, a cruise or an all-inclusive vacation – where our things stay put – might be the way to go for now, although that was never our preferred style of travelling. Until, at least, 1 or 2 out of 3 kids can get through the day without a nap anymore, I highly doubt that we’ll be going anywhere fancy just yet.
As a result, I resort to reveries and wistfulness and inspired leaps of fantasy to get me my daily dose of travel inspiration. One day, I was pondering about my time in the Cote d’Azur – in Nice, specifically – where I had packed le pique nique down to the beach by le Promenade des Anglais. I stopped by a traiteur to grab a few slices of savoury tarts, very much like this one I made here.
There’s nothing like sitting by the sea, breathing in the saline air, enjoying a sip of lemon pressé, and grazing on a lovely lunch (and oh, people-watching, too).
Oh, how I remember those savoury French tarts so well…This tart today is not far removed from those ones in Nice. Except my crusts are gluten-free! Don’t fret, dear friend, if the tart crust looks a drab grayish-brown – it’s because it is made of brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat flours. It’s a pleasure nibbling on this pillow-y, creamy tart!
- ~~ For the Garlic Parsley Oil ~~
- 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, blanched for 30 seconds in boiling water
- generous amounts of extra virgin olive oil
- ~~ For the Brown Rice, Quinoa, and Buckwheat Crust ~~
- ½ cup (90 g) brown rice flour
- ⅓ cup (50 g) buckwheat flour
- ⅓ cup (40 g) quinoa flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chia or flax seeds, finely ground
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, diced and chilled
- 1 large egg
- 3 to 8 tablespoons of ice water
- ~~ For the filling ~~
- 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons garlic parsley oil
- 5 tablespoons Greek or Balkan-style yogurt
- sea salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil for sautéing
- 2 thyme twigs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1-1/2 cups carrots, finely shredded
- 1 small green zucchini, finely shredded
- 120 g Havarti cheese, thinly sliced
- ½ a small wheel (70 g) Brie cheese, rind removed and crumbled
- To make the garlic-parsley oil, combine parsley and garlic in a food processor and whirl. While processor is running, stream the olive oil until you reach a smooth purée. Set aside in an airtight container and let sit for at least 24 hours so that the flavours infuse the oil.
- To make the tart crust, place the flours, xanthan gum, sea salt, and chia or flax seeds in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle.
- Add the butter and beat on medium speed until crumbles form. While beating, gradually add the water by tablespoonfuls until the dough starts to detach from the bowl and forms a ball.
- Pat into a disk or divide into smaller disks if making tartlets. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour minimum. If it's been chilled for a few hours or overnight, take out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before using.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
- Lightly flour your work surface, rolling pin, and hands with brown rice flour and roll out the dough. A note about gluten-free tart: the dough tends to crumble. When this happens, simply press it back together or patch up the broken areas. Gently roll the tart dough onto the floured pin and carefully lay down on the tart pan. Press to mould into the pan and prick holes on the bottom with a fork.
- Blind bake the tart crust by lining the moulded dough with parchment paper or aluminum foil and top with pie weights (dried beans or rice work well, too). Bake crust for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
- To assemble the tart, preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C).
- In a bowl, beat the eggs, cilantro, garlic-parsley oil, and yogurt. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile in a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the thyme leaves and 1 teaspoon of the ground coriander and sauté for 1 minute. Add the carrots and cook for 5 minutes, lowering the heat at halfway point. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
- In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of ground coriander. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant, then add the zucchini. Cook for 3 minutes or until the zucchini is soft. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
- When the vegetables are cooled off, add most of them into the egg mixture and stir. Leave some to sprinkle on top layer of the tart.
- Place slices of Havarti cheese to cover the bottom of the tart.
- Pour the egg batter mixture into the tart. Sprinkle with the remaining carrots and zucchini. Dot with Brie liberally.
- Place the tart in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the top has set and has turned to golden.