Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Veggie Tartlets (otherwise known as veggies and couscous)

From the kitchen of a working professional:

Since January 2012 I've faced the age old dilemma - how to fix fresh, healthy meals meals that don't require hours of prep time. I'm not particularly fond of eating past 6:30, and when one doesn't get home from work until 5:45 that doesn't leave much time to make a scrumptious dinner. Slowly but surely I'm acquiring new recipes for my arsenal, and veggies are a personal favorite.

Tonight I made a variation on a theme. Christina and I made the complete recipe a few years ago and thought the veggies would make a delicious topping on something other than tartlets. I must say, I was pleased with the outcome and by eliminating the tartlets, I cut down on the bake time. And I ate by 6:30. :-)

* Instead of making little tartlets I served the veggie mixture over couscous. I used whole wheat couscous from Trader Joes, and it was ready in about 10 minutes.

* I cheated and used dried basil instead of fresh. Although fresh would have been better, I didn't have any on hand. Dried still provided excellent flavor.

* I'm not a huge fan of eggplant so I only used half of the recommended amount.

* Because I was hungry I baked the veggies for 10 minutes, spooned some out to eat right away, and baked the remaining mixture for another 20 minutes. I'll enjoy the baked portion as leftovers.

* This would also be wonderful served over rice.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon course salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup ice water

1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 red peppers, stems and seeds removed, cut in 1/4 inch strips
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium squash, thinly sliced
1 Italian eggplant, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, quartered
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups coarsely chopped Kale
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes
6 tablespoons nonfat ricotta cheese

1. Make the crust: pulse flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in food processor. Add butter. Process until mixture resembles coarse meal. With machine running, add ice water in a slow steady stream. Process just until dough holds together. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic, and refridgerate 1 hour (or up to 3 days).

2. Preheat over to 350. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out six 9-inch rounds, gathering scraps and rerolling dough. Fit into 4 1/2 inch springform tart pans and cut dough flush with tops. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate 30 minutes.

3. Make the filling: heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bell peppers and cook until just tender, 4-5 minutes. Add zucchini, squash, eggplant, and onion. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add wine and salt. Season with pepper. Cook, stirring, until liquid has evaporated. Add Kale and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes, basil, and red pepper flakes.

4. Spoon 1 1/4 cups vegetable mixture into each tart shell. Bake until crust is golden brown, 40-50 minutes. Top each tart with 1 tablespoon ricotta and serve.

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