It’s hard to believe that this vegetable filling can taste so “meaty,” but it does in this delicious Italian Rustic Squash and Kale Tart from World Vegan Feast by Bryanna Clark Grogan! The crispy olive oil pastry (a traditional, frugal peasant recipe designed to use as little expensive olive oil as possible) is easy to make and low in fat (about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil per serving). If you want to make a larger tart, double both the filling and the pastry recipes and bake it on a 14-inch pizza pan.
Italian Rustic Squash and Kale Tart
- 1 cup unbleached white flour (do not use pastry flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup ice-cold water
- 4 ounces kale, tough stems removed, washed, drained and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 to 5 green onions, chopped
- 6 ounces butternut squash (or other “meaty” winter squash), peeled, and cut in 1/2-inch dice
- finely chopped toasted walnuts
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pastry: Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Drizzle in the oil and mix with your fingers or a fork. Dribble in the cold water slowly, mixing with a fork as you go. When it holds together, knead it gently into a ball, cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Filling: Steam the squash until just tender. Steam the kale until tender, then cool it under cold running water, drain it and then squeeze as much water out of it as you can. Chop the kale with a sharp knife.
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add both kinds of onions. Stir-fry until tender. Add the kale and squash, walnuts, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375oF.
- On a lightly-floured piece of baking parchment, roll the pastry out into a thin 14-inch circle. Carefully transfer the rolled-out dough onto an oiled 10-inch pie pan (see Tip). Pile the filling in the middle of the dough and spread it out evenly. Bring up the edges around the filling to make a “freeform” pie, pleating the dough over the Filling and leaving an open circle of filling in the center.
- Brush the dough with a little olive oil and cover the exposed filling with a circle of foil. Bake the tart for 30 to 45 minutes or until the dough is golden. Cut into wedges to serve. It’s good hot, warm, or cold.
To transfer fragile pastry dough into a pan without tearing, flour the top of the circle lightly and then gently fold it in half and then in half again. Gently lift the pastry into the pie pan, letting the edges of the pastry overhang the edge of the pan. Carefully unfold the dough. Another way is to lightly flour the pastry and roll it up loosely around a rolling pin. Use the rolling pin to transfer the dough to the pan and unroll the pastry over the pan.
From World Vegan Feast by Bryanna Clark Grogan. ©2011 Bryanna Clark Grogan. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.