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Polenta Tart with Green Garlic and Spinach

This polenta tart with green garlic and spinach has a gluten-free polenta crust. It’s filled with a light ricotta egg and spinach custard. The season for green garlic coincides with chives, so if you have them, sprinkle the baked tart with purple chive blossoms.

green garlic for Polenta Tart with Green Garlic and Spinach

Trimmed Green Garlic

This polenta tart recipe uses my microwave polenta technique. The “crust” is gluten-free and lower in calories than a butter tart crust. And polenta perfectly complements the filling in an Italian sort of way.

Unless you are more adverse to the nuclear machines than I, or your kitchen is not so equipped, you will enjoy the ease of polenta cooking in a microwave oven.

polenta tart crust for Polenta Tart with Green Garlic and Spinach

Chives and purple blossoms for Polenta Tart with Green Garlic and Spinach

Chive sand their blossoms

One of the surprises in our farm share box this week is green garlic. I wonder if John planted a row of garlic specifically for a green garlic harvest or if he is thinning the crop to allow more space for bulb development of what’s left in the rows.

Green garlic looks a lot like green onions or scallions, and can be prepared in pretty much the same way.

Wash green garlic well, as you would leeks, for dirty soil can hide in the stalks. Trim green garlic as dictated by its relative youth, or how close it was to becoming fully formed garlic. If the green part is very tender, chop the entire stalk, otherwise trim away some of the green as you might for scallions.

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Polenta Tart with Green garlic for Green Garlic and Spinach
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Polenta Tart with Green Garlic and Spinach

This gluten free crust makes a fabulous crust for most any savory tart. Makes one tart. Cut into 6 or 8 wedges for main course or 10 to 12 as an appetizer.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Servings: 1 9-inch tart

Ingredients

For the polenta:

  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup water
  • ½ cup polenta grits
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

For the filling:

  • 1 bunch fresh spinach , about 8 ounces, well washed, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup up to 1 cup chopped green garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chive petals
  • Tomato sauce , optional

Instructions

Make the polenta:

  • Whisk the vegetable broth, water, olive oil, salt, and polenta and in a microwave-proof bowl. Cover and cook on highest power for five minutes. Stir well, cover again and cook for another five minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, cover and cook for two more minutes.
  • Allow the polenta to cool a minute or so, then dollop into the lightly oiled pan of choice. While the polenta is still soft and warm, spread it around the bottom and sides of the pan with your fingers, wetting them if needed. Distribute the polenta as evenly as possible, but it can look rustic, since this is a rustic tart.

Make the filling and bake the tart:

  • Heat the grapeseed oil in a large skillet and sauté the green garlic until it is limp. Stir in the spinach and cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach has completely wilted. Sprinkle with a dash of balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Beat the egg and ricotta cheese in a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, the cooked garlic and spinach, thyme and chives, reserving the purple thyme blossom for garnish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture into the polenta crust.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until there are hints of golden brown in the crust and the ricotta filling. Sprinkle with the purple chive flowers and allow to cool slightly before cutting.
  • Serve on plates with tomato sauce, if desired.

Sweet Swiss Chard Tart with a Cookie Crust – Tarte aux Blettes

I think most people would see “Swiss Chard Tart” on a dessert menu and pass it over for the Chocolate Snowball. That’s why the menu said Tarte aux Blettes–Sweet Swiss Chard Tart with a Cookie Crust. This sweet Swiss chard tart with a cookie crust is one special dessert.

Sweet Swiss Chard Tart with a Cookie Crust | Letty's Kitchen

In Nice, in France, when I was in culinary school way back in 1986, for professional curiosity I ordered Tarte aux Blettes. What a treat–eating your greens for dessert.
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Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Potatoes and Cheese

When we visited Felipe and Diana’s home in San Miguel de Allende Mexico, we made poblano chiles stuffed with potatoes and cheese for dinner. Here’s the recipe and why I love traditional open air Mexican markets!

Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Potatoes and Cheese

Qué le doy—what can I get you? They call out to you as you pass by their stalls brimming with fruits and vegetables, and flowers, every variety of meats and fish, and much much more.

Damn I love Mexican mercados. Pirate CD puestos a half kilometer down the passageway blare out ranchera and rock, competing for your ears against the musician with guitar two stalls away serenading birthday wishes, Las Mananitas, to the girl selling leather belts and shoes. The colors, the music, the food!

señora in Mexican mercado--Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Potatoes and Cheese | Letty's Kitchen

So rich and abundant, so full of optimism, with smells easily and not so easily identified.  You can have your high-price supermarket’s sterile packaging just like any city in the world–for the life’s bright vibrancy, give me a Mexican mercado any day. Full crescendo open air Mexican mercados are feasts for the eyes, ears, and palate.

You’ll see handsome señoras wrapped in traditional shawls selling homegrown fruit like avocados and limes, or old cowboys selling even older tools they’ve arranged on blankets on the ground.
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Curried Potatoes and Kale

A friend from southern Utah arrived last week bearing kale from her neighbor’s garden. With the wonderful variety of potatoes we have been getting from our CSA farm share box,  I came up with this a spicy curried potato and kale dinner.

Coconut Curried Potatoes and Kale with Tofu

In this recipe, the prep steps for the tofu, potatoes and kale are given separately. Multi-tasking is efficient here: prepare the potatoes while pressing the tofu, and boil the potatoes while saute-crisping the tofu.  Boil the kale while the onion and garlic cooks.

This coconut sauce with potatoes, kale, and tofu are delicious with steamed brown basmati rice and quinoa.  Serve with chutney and yogurt or raita.

Coconut Curried Potatoes and Kale with Tofu

Golden Tofu Cubes

In this recipe, the prep steps for the tofu, potatoes and kale are given separately. Multi-tasking is efficient here: prepare the potatoes while pressing the tofu, and boil the potatoes while saute-crisping the tofu.  Boil the kale while the onion and garlic cooks.

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

Thanks for being here. To get my latest recipe posts and exclusive monthly newsletters, subscribe here.

For more vegetarian recipe ideas, peruse my Pinterest boards.

Find daily vegetarian and healthy living ideas on my Facebook page.

Follow me on Instagram! It’s my favorite!

Coconut Curried Potatoes and Kale with Tofu
Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes

Coconut Curried Potatoes and Kale with Tofu

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 12 ounce block extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium potatoes any variety, well-scrubbed
  • 1 bunch kale stems removed and discarded
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
  • Pinch cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon or more, to taste dried red chile pepper flakes
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Drain the tofu from its water and cut in half lengthwise. Place on a tea towel in a baking dish and cover with a part of the towel. Top with a second baking dish and place something heavy inside; it should weigh 1 to 2 pounds. Monitor so that the weight stays centered over the tofu pieces and press for about 10 minutes. The tea towel will absorb much extra moisture, even though you started with extra firm tofu. Dice the pressed tofu into ½-inch to ¾-inch cubes.
  • Heat the first tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Add the tofu cubes and cook about 10 minutes, turning the tofu after a few minutes, until the cubes are golden on at least 2 sides. Remove from the pan and set aside on paper towels.
  • Bring a saucepan of water to boil with a good amount of salt. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks, add them to the pot and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pot and set aside.
  • Add the kale leaves to the salted water. Simmer them until the greens are tender to your tongue, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the water, saving about 2 cups of the cooking water. Let the kale cool on a cutting board and then chop—about 1 inch apart with your knife, in both directions to cut the leaves.
  • Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium flame. Add the onion and garlic and cook and stir until the garlic is translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the turmeric and cayenne and the pepper flakes. Add the coconut milk, and the cooked potatoes and chopped kale, stirring everything around. Stir in the golden tofu cubes and enough of the reserved cooking water to make a wet sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally to let the flavors meld and heat the vegetables and tofu. Season with salt and more chile pepper flakes to taste.
  • For the basmati rice and quinoa, steam 3/4 cup rice and 1/4 cup red quinoa with 2 cups water.

Creamy Vegan Vichyssoise Soup with Potatoes and Leeks

This creamy yet creamless potato and leek vegan vichyssoise can be served hot or cold. Savor it chilled on summer’s lovely warm days or warm yourself on cool days by serving it hot!  Here’s my vegan interpretation of vichyssoise, which by definition and tradition would be a cold leek and potato puree made with butter and cream. 

Vegan Vichyssoise

This recipe takes advantage of the potatoes and leeks we found in our CSA farm share box this week. Creamy potatoes make darn delicious creamy vegan vichyssoise.

Vichyssoise, pronounced vihsh-ee-SWAHZ is a classic French soup. Traditional vichyssoise recipes begin with sautéing the veggies in butter instead of olive oil, and they have you stir in heavy cream, sour cream or yogurt after the puree has chilled. But there’s really no reason to use butter or cream when you can enjoy this delicious vegan vichyssoise with a whole lot less calories!

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