Saturday, October 20, 2012

Caramelized Garlic Tart

So....fair warning. This tart is seriously addictive, and if you make it once, you're pretty much locked in to making it many more times, probably in a ridiculously short amount of time. Just saying.

Over the last few years, I haven't really bought many cookbooks - especially since my foray into the world of food blogging. There are so many fabulous recipes online now that it takes something really special for me to actually purchase a cookbook these days.

Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty is one of those cookbooks. Beautiful pictures with vivid colors and flavors - and simplicity. All the recipes are vegetarian (although he himself is not vegetarian), and each picture looks mouthwateringly delicious.

And this one, converted to be gluten- and dairy-free, completely lives up to the picture. It's pretty much amazing. First of all - caramelized garlic. What?? It's fantastically good, with the sweet balsamic syrup complementing the garlic flavor perfectly. And even though the original recipe calls for all kinds of dairy (heavy cream, goat cheese, and creme fraiche), the non-dairy version is still totally delicious.  I basically gave all of the non-dairy products in my fridge a chance to shine in this one - a little sour cream, a little yogurt, a little tofu-based goat cheese (from scratch), a little cream cheese, and Daiya cheese.

So, I know this recipe might look like it's a lot of work. And it's definitely more than minimal effort, although it is much less complicated than it might appear to be. The crust is super easy and requires no rising or rolling or anything - you just toss everything in a food processor, push the button, and then press it right into the pan. Done! And trust me....the results are worth the extra time you'll spend making this. Everyone I've served it to has loved it (one even admitted to dreaming about it later).

On top of that, it makes a perfect comfort food meal for autumn. So, it's pretty wonderful.


Caramelized Garlic Tart (Adapted from Plenty)

For crust (adapted from this recipe)

1 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
14 cup tapioca starch
3/4 tsp. salt
2 oz. Earth Balance Buttery Spread, cut into small pieces
1 egg
1/4 cup ice cold water

For the caramelized garlic

2 heads of garlic cloves, peeled (I buy the peeled cloves from Trader Joe's to make the process go faster)
1 cup water
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. white sugar

For the "cheese" filling

1/2 of this vegan goat cheese recipe (or if you can tolerate goat cheese: 4.5 oz soft goat cheese, and 4.5 oz hard goat cheese)
4 tbsp. vegan sour cream
3.5 tbsp. vegan cream cheese
2.5 tbsp. soy creamer
3 tbsp. plain non-dairy yogurt (I used So Delicious)
1 cup Daiya Mozarella Cheese (more if desired)
optional: 2 tbsp. non-dairy ricotta cheese
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a tart pan or 9" springform pan with cooking spray.

To make the crust: Place the flours, salt, and butter in a food processor and pulse for about a minute, or until the butter has been distributed evenly throughout. In a small bowl, mix the egg and cold water together, then add to the food processor. Mix until a large ball of dough forms. Remove from food processor; if you have time, let it chill in the freezer for about 20 minutes. If you don't have time, press it into your pan evenly, making sure to build up about an inch of crust around the edges. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes while you assemble the other ingredients. Remove from oven and reduce the temperature to 350 F.

To make caramelized garlic: You'll blanche the garlic before caramelizing it. To do this, place the peeled garlic cloves in several cups of water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes. Drain the cloves, then add 1 cup of water and balasmic vinegar, then bring back to a simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the sugar, rosemary, and thyme, and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until a thick syrup has formed. Add the caramelized garlic evenly onto the baked crust, making sure to add all the syrup.

To make the "cheese" filling: Make the vegan goat cheese separately and add in dollops across the baked crust with the caramelized garlic. Then make the cheese filling as follows:

In a small mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese, yogurt, soy creamer, Daiya cheese, ricotta cheese (if desired), and eggs, and mix well together (I used an electric mixer). Add about 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Pour the entire thing over the garlic and goat cheese and place in the oven at 350 F for 40 - 50 minutes, or until it is ever-so-slightly browned on top and a toothpick comes out mostly clean. If you want the tart to be slightly more moist, err on the side of 40 minutes; if you want it to be a bit dryer, let it bake for about 50 minutes.

Let cool slightly before serving. This would go great with anything green - I served it with grilled asparagus, but a green salad, brussel sprouts, etc. would be wonderful, too.