Make it. Eat it. Love it.
It has been an exciting and eventful couple of weeks. My husband surprised me with a week long trip to Paris, I celebrated my 30th Birthday and I found out that I am going to be having a little girl! A girl!! How joyful the idea. The news came as a bit of a surprise as I had convinced myself that I was going to be having a boy. But, I could not be happier. How excited I am to meet my little angel and I find myself wondering what she will be like. Each time I enter the kitchen I think to myself what her tastes will be and how my cooking will change to accommodate the pickiness of a small child. But, if she is anything like her mommy she will absolutely adore garlic and live by the motto ‘the more the better’.
Garlic season has once again come and it is the most glorious time of year for us garlic lovers. Fresh garlic is piled up high at the shuk and braided and hung from the tarps that cover the market walkways. The sweet aroma permeates the air and you can smell it before you even enter. It is a short but wonderful time of year and to ensure the enjoyment of it long after its over, it is imperative to stock up on as much fresh garlic you can. And so, for this reason Katherine and I found ourselves lugging 10.5 kilos of it home from Jerusalem.
For my birthday Katherine gave me the most beautiful cookbook, Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi and in the short 2 weeks or so that I have had it, it has become one of my most treasured possessions. It is one of those rare cookbooks that inspire you and have you wanting to try each and every recipe. I have already made 5, yes 5, of the recipes in this book and they all come out perfect. Get. this. cookbook.
While looking through the pages of Plenty and bookmarking pretty much each page, I came across the recipe for this caramelized garlic tart. It was the perfect recipe to make to highlight the wonderful sweet taste of my fresh garlic. The ingredient list sounded indulgent, the photo was beautiful and the intro to the recipe sold me. It read; ” ‘I think this is the most delicious recipe in the world’ wrote Claudine after trying it out for me. What else can I add?” Well Chef Ottolenghi, there is nothing else you can add, for this really is the most delicious recipe in the world.
The only thing I changed in the recipe was adding mascarpone cheese in place of crème fraîce because I had none in the house. I also doubled the amount of rosemary in place of using rosemary and thyme. Serve this with a crisp salad and it truly is the most perfect meal.
13 oz. puff pastry
3 heads of garlic, separated and peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
3/4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
4 1/2 ounces soft, creamy goat cheese
4 1/2 ounces hard, mature goat cheese
6 1/2 tablespoon heavy cream
6 1/2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
Grease a shallow, loose-bottomed, 11 inch fluted tart pan.
Roll out puff pastry into a circle that will line the bottom and sides of the pan.
Line the pan with the pastry and place a large circle of waxed paper on the bottom and fill with dried beans.
Leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F and bake the tart shell for 20 minutes.
Remove the dried beans and bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until pastry in golden, set aside and leave oven on.
While the tart shell is baking, make the caramelized garlic.
Put the garlic cloves in a small pan and cover with plenty of water.
Bring to a simmer and blanch the garlic for 3 minutes, then drain well.
Dry the pan and returen garlic cloves to it and add the olive oil.
Fry the garlic on high heat for 2 minutes, shaking the pan to fry each side.
Add the balsamic vinegar and water and bring to a boil, then simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Add the sugar, rosemary and a pinch of salt and continue simmering on medium heat for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic is covered in a dark caramel syrup. Set aside.
To assemble the tart, break both types of goat cheese into pieces and scatter in the tart shell.
Spoon the garlic and any syrup over the cheese.
In a bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, mascarpone cheese and some salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture over the garlic and cheese to fill the gaps, making sure that you can still see most of the garlic and cheese on the surface.
Reduce the oven to 325F and bake the tart for 35-45 minutes, or until the tart filling has set and the top is golden brown.
Remove pan from oven leave to cool a bit.
Remove tart from pan and serve.