Fresh spinach, acquired through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) food co-op, along with farm fresh eggs and feta cheese go into making this egg-based meatless tart. Healthy and delicious!
Though we long to have a sustainable farm of our own, that fantasy is not a part of our current reality. For now, I must rely on my farming friends and neighbors to share their bounty with dreamers like me. We’ve participated in our local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement for several years. CSA’s operate by consumers like me paying a local farmer(s) for a share of their harvest each week.
I love participating a CSA because the food is so fresh–usually picked that day–and it also encourages me to find tasty uses for vegetables that I may not otherwise think to eat. I’m not going to lie–sometimes the stuff in my basket can be a little intimidating. More than once, I’ve peered into my basket and thought, what the heck do I do with that?! Thankfully, my CSA farmer is passionate about farming and food, so she shares a ton of good ideas on how to prepare anything that may otherwise seem “scary.”
My BFF Nicki is a full-time farmer, and gracefully shares the literal fruits of her labors with me each week , and several other clients, from June through October. I’ll be introducing you to Nicki and her farm, very soon. Until then, let’s take a look at what my farm share looked like last week:
Here on the 45th Parallel, the heat of summer ramps up a bit later than in other parts of the country, so the initial CSA offerings primarily consist of All the Green Things:
Green onions, fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, cilantro, parsely, mint, mixed greens, and baby spinach. Rhubarb and radishes added a pop of red to the whole affair.
Here’s what I did with it all…
The green onions went into my favorite layered taco dip, as well as an accessory in salads and other dishes. The mixed salad greens made for a fantastic bed for grilled chicken salads, and as the headliner of a Caesar salad. The herbs went in just about everything, and we munched radishes dipped in copious amounts of garlic feta dip all week long.
We’ll discuss what I did with the rhubarb later this week.
Today, let’s talk about the baby spinach, going into a delicious fresh spinach tart!
Since I was flush with salad greens, I decided to wilt the spinach to add texture to other meals. I’m not a huge fan of wilted greens, but I love wilting fresh spinach to add to veggie pasta and many other dishes.
Perhaps my favorite application for wilted fresh spinach is in tart form. Because I can eat most anything if it’s in a pie! Who’s with me?
My Fresh Spinach Tart is married with fresh mint, basil, lemon zest, and just enough feta to give it a little Mediterranean flair.
It’s a great way to eat your greens!
Start with 8 ounces of fresh spinach greens.
Rinse the greens and toss them into a skillet with a dribble of water.
Warm the spinach over medium heat until the leaves begin to wilt, stirring occasionally. The spinach will release more water as it wilts.
Continue to stir and wilt the greens until the water appears to have evaporated, and greens are beginning to dry.
Remove from the heat, and then gently press the greens with the back of a spoon to release any water caught up in the mass, which shouldn’t be much.
Roughly chop the warm, wilted spinach, along with mincing a little basil, fresh mint, and the zest of one lemon. The lemon zest and fresh mint bring a delightful brightness to the tart.
Whisk several eggs until fluffy before folding in the spinach, herbs, and lemon zest. Stir in a healthy amount of feta and asiago cheese, for good measure. Season the filling to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with parchment paper. Spray the pan and parchment with baking spray. Roll out a disk of the best pie dough on the planet, and use it to line the prepared pan.
Spoon the filling into the pastry-lined tart pan, smoothing it to the edges of the interior. Bake the tart for 30 minutes, or until the filling is set, and crust is golden brown.
Allow the spinach tart to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes so the filling will hold together when sliced.
Fresh Spinach Tart is wonderful when served slightly warm, or at room temperature, as either a main dish or as an interesting side dish alongside grilled meats.