Sausage and Kale Dinner Tart
March 11, 2011
The other night at bedtime, my 4 year old son announced to me that he is a vegetarian. Never mind the fact that he had just put away three helpings of chicken at dinner. I nodded and told him he never had to eat anything that he did not want. He asserted once more that he was a vegetarian, but then went on to tell me that he only eats bacon, hamburgers, and sausage. Oh, I said, that kind of vegetarian. I was amused, but also relieved. Though I am sympathetic to vegetarians, since I refrained from meat and dairy myself for many years, it is so much easier to cook for a household that agrees to eat the same kinds of foods. Not to mention that my husband and I just filled the freezer with many pounds of homemade sausage. Now is not the best time to opt out of sausage in our house.
Oh, the Sausage and Kale Dinner Tart. This is the single most soul satisfying tart I have ever made. Sausage and kale both are iconic winter fare. They dominate this tart with only minor distractions from sauteed onion, garlic, and the slightest addition of ricotta cheese. Served atop the flaky butter crust, this is a winter meal to celebrate. Both pork and chicken sausage work equally well, as do kale and chard. You can trade out the egg for egg white, but it really will not put much of a dent in the fat of this dish given the buttery crust. This is not diet food. This is late winter though, and our last chance to enjoy the decadence of the cool months before the threats of swimsuit season are upon us. Enjoy!
Update: My Sausage and Kale Dinner Tart won for Best Dirt Cheap Dinner on food52!
Sausage and Kale Dinner Tart
the Tart Shell
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1 pinch salt
3-4 tablespoons ice water
Cut the butter into small cubes. Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until butter is pea-sized. Slowly drizzle water through the top of the food processor while pulsing. You have added enough water when dough sticks together when pressed. Remove dough from processor and press gently into a disc. Wrap disc in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap. Place disc on a lightly floured board. Roll dough into a circle 12 inches in diameter. Place dough in 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Dock dough with a fork. Lay parchment paper or foil over dough and fill with beans or pie weights.
Blind bake the tart shell (with pie weights) for 20 minutes. Then remove parchment and weights and bake an additional 5 minutes until the crust begins to brown.
Remove from oven and set aside on cooling rack.
the Sausage and Kale Filling
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups onion, minced
2 garlic cloves
1/2 pound Italian sausage
1 bunch kale (a large bunch)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup ricotta
salt and pepper
Heat oil and butter in pan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until onions are soft and light brown. Season with salt and pepper. Remove onions from pan and set aside.
Increase heat to medium and add sausage to pan. Brown sausage and break into small pieces. Remove sausage from pan and set aside. Drain all but 1 Tablespoon of oil from pan.
Add kale to pan. Pour white wine over kale. Scrap any bits from the pan and cover. Cook 3-5 minutes, until kale is wilted. Season with salt and pepper. If kale is still very wet, cook uncovered for a minute or two. The overall mixture should be fairly dry. Remove kale to a large bowl.
Toss cooked kale with cooked sausage and onions. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Toss mixture with basil, egg, and ricotta. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon sausage and kale mixture into cooked tart shell. Be sure to evenly cover the bottom of the tart shell. Bake the tart on a baking tray for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove tart from oven when the filling is set and the tart shell is nicely brown. Cool tart slightly on a wire rack. Slice and serve with a big green salad.
Here is a printer friendly version of the recipe: Sausage and Kale Dinner Tart
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