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Carrie’s Kitchen: Trio of dishes perfect for the start of spring

Thursday, Mach 19, is the official first day of spring, although the groundhog certainly was right this year when he said the season would come early.

The earliest of local produce should start popping up in a few weeks, but it usually starts with spring onions, lettuce and radishes. Spring always feels like quiche season to me, but I know not everyone is a fan of quiche. For this week’s column, I found two quiche-like dishes that are more vegetable-centered than egg-centered, and then a little radish side dish to go with them.

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First, I saw a picture of “eggs in a garden” and I thought it was beautiful. It has a very easy crust, made from puff pastry. You use a vegetable peeler to make thin strips of asparagus and carrot that you cook on the crust and bake. You cut holes into the crust, then crack eggs into the holes and put it back in the oven until the egg whites are set. Then you layer a fresh salad on top of the whole thing, hence, “eggs in a garden.” I haven’t had an occasion to try this out yet, but I look forward to it.

The second recipe is a galette, which is like a tart, and this one features potatoes and leeks and goat cheese. The crust here is more of a pie crust, but it has pistachios in it. This should turn out to be quite a filling little tart, and have a novel taste that you won’t find in a store.

And then to go on the side, I liked the look of these roasted radishes that you finish with browned butter and lemon. Cooking radishes takes away the bite, but still leaves an interesting taste. The browned butter should mellow them out even more, making this a great compliment to these tarts.

Enjoy!

Eggs in a garden

2 (17.3-ounce) packages frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed

6 fresh jumbo asparagus, trimmed

1 large carrot

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

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8 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided

3 cups loosely packed spring mix greens

1 radish, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Lay 2 puff pastry sheets end to end in prepared pan; cut off any excess dough. Press seam of 2 sheets together with moistened fingers. Repeat procedure, layering remaining 2 puff pastry sheets on top of first 2 sheets.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel asparagus and carrot lengthwise into strips. Reserve and set aside 1 cup of carrot strips. Using a 3-inch round cutter, lightly press 8 circles into puff pastry sheets. (Do not press all the way through dough.) Spread asparagus and remaining carrot strips around the 8 circles; gently press vegetables into dough. Sprinkle vegetables evenly with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack 5 minutes.

Using 3-inch round cutter, cut 8 circles from pastry, cutting all the way through to the pan. Remove pastry circles; discard or reserve for another use. Carefully break 1 egg into each hole. Sprinkle eggs evenly with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees until egg whites are set and yolks are still runny, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool on rack 10 minutes.

Place greens, radish, oil, lemon juice, reserved carrot strips, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl; gently toss to combine. Arrange mixture around eggs. Cut pastry into 8 pieces, and serve immediately.

Leek and potato galette with pistachio crust

For the dough:

1/2 cup raw pistachios

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the filling and assembly:

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 large leek, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced

4 ounces fresh goat cheese

5 tablespoons heavy cream

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

All-purpose flour (for surface)

4 tablespoons coarsely chopped dill, divided, plus sprigs for serving

2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced

1 large egg, beaten to blend

Crushed pink peppercorns (for serving; optional)

To make the dough: Pulse pistachios in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add flour, salt, and sugar and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse just until a coarse meal forms. With motor running, gradually stream in 1/2 cup ice water and process until dough comes together. Transfer dough to a work surface; form into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 30 minutes.

To make the filling and assembly: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a small skillet over medium-low. Cook leek, stirring occasionally, until softened but without taking on any color, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Mix goat cheese, cream, and garlic in a medium bowl to combine; season with salt and black pepper.

Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll out 1 piece of dough on a lightly floured surface to an 8" round; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using an offset spatula, spread one-quarter of goat cheese mixture over dough, leaving a 1" border. Scatter 1 Tbsp. dill evenly over, then top with a thin layer of potato slices. Drizzle with oil; season with salt. Scatter one-quarter of leeks over potatoes. Fold edges of dough over filling, tucking and overlapping slightly as needed. Repeat with remaining dough, goat cheese mixture, chopped dill, potatoes, and leeks and more oil and salt to make 3 more galettes. Brush top of dough with egg.

Bake galettes until crusts are golden brown and potatoes are soft, 30–40 minutes. Drizzle with honey and top with dill sprigs. Sprinkle with pink peppercorns, if using; season with salt and black pepper.

Do Ahead

Dough can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Brown butter radishes

4 small bunches radishes (about 2 pounds total), tops removed and halved

1 tablespoon olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Juice of 1/2 medium lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)

Flaky sea salt, for serving

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 450 degrees.

Toss the radishes with the oil, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and arrange them cut-side down. Roast until the bottoms have browned a little and they are crisp-tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally, until the butter has a nutty aroma and is toasty-brown, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the radishes and lemon juice, and toss to combine. Sprinkle with a couple of pinches of flaky sea salt and serve.

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