Yesterday was one of those days where I had SO many things to do that I just couldn't do any of them - which is called Overload Paralysis (O.P), a condition I suffer from periodically, especially when it's nice outside. I'm getting ready for a trip, have work to finish, projects to finish, phone calls to return, a pile of laundry that only has my name on it and Easter baskets to make for my GROWN children. Don't ask. So much to do I didn't know where to begin and so I didn't. I thought about every way I could escape my to-do list...shopping, always the preferential course of treatment for O.P., however if nothing fun, exciting or slimming can be found O.P. roars out of remission. Reading is always a great escape but the sun was out and I only read when it rains. It's a Northwest thing. Going outside to work in the yard seemed like a good idea, too, but then I just had my nails done. Everyone knows you can't do any kind of yard work for two weeks after a manicure - then there is a three day window for dirt digging before the next manicure. Sitting in front of the TV and watching hours of House on Netflix occurred to me, but then what would I do at night? That left me with only one viable option...I headed into the kitchen to make this Carrot Tart. It was just what I needed - and curiously, just what you need, too!
Puff Pastry. My BFF. It does the work for you. Open the package, let it thaw, put on baking sheet...ta-da! Really, this is easy - but the presentation and the taste are enough to impress everyone at your Easter table, including the Easter Bunny himself!
This really should be part of your Easter feast - it's perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner...and if you don't make it for Easter, then make it for your next PTA meeting or your quilt group or book group or for your husband when you need to explain why he has to wear his old tighty-whities in the back of his dresser because his laundry didn't get done - it will soften the blow.
Once the Puff Pastry is baked, it's topped with a ricotta and cream mixture - let me assure you, your teeth won't mind sinking into this one bit! The ricotta mixture is topped with onions and sweet carrots that have been sauted for just a few minutes, then it all goes back into the oven so the carrots and onions can caramelize and the Puff Pastry does a bit more magic. When it comes out of the oven it's topped with fresh chives, dill and parsley...this one's a keeper - ring the Dang Meter five times because this Carrot Tart is dang, dang, dang, dang, dang good!
Carrot Tart with Ricotta and Herbs - Adapted From Bon Appetit, April 2015
2 cups ricotta
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 large carrots (about 8 oz.) scrubbed, thinly sliced into coins
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed (you will use both sheets)
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons small dill sprigs, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk ricotta and cream in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and cook, tossing occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes; season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Lightly roll out each piece of pastry on parchment paper just to smooth out creases. Transfer on paper to a baking sheet. Lightly score a 1" border around each pastry. Brush both pastry pieces with egg; bake until golden and slightly puffed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and spread half the ricotta mixture over each pastry, staying within border. Scatter half of the reserved onion and carrots evenly over each top. Bake until carrots are tender, onion is starting to caramelize, and pastry is golden brown and baked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool.
Just before serving, toss herbs and remaining 1 tablespoons oil in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Scatter over tart. Store any left-overs tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, refrigerate. Allow to come to room temperature for best flavor, or eat cold, it's good either way. Serves 8.
Where do Easter eggs come from? Duh...eggplants!