I ran across this recipe for Pipérade Tart the other day while I was going through my food files. I believe I clipped this recipe many years ago from a Gourmet magazine, altho' it was no where to be found during a recent search on-line at Epicurious. That tells me I clipped it many, many years ago. The definition of Pipérade is: (French) Tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions and garlic cooked in olive oil or goose fat until soft, then chopped herbs and beaten eggs added to the mixture and slightly scrambled. Served with fried or grilled ham and garnished with triangular pieces of grilled bread.
I always wonder, after I make something this good, why the recipe languished in my files for so long. I pulled it because I thought it would be a great vehicle for the bounty of tomatoes and sweet peppers I am still harvesting from my backyard garden. And after eating that first slice, all I could think about was when I would bake this tart again (a.s.a.p.!). I didn't serve the Pipérade with grilled ham as is normally done, altho' that is now my plan the next time around. I served spicy arugula with a red wine and dijon mustard vinaigrette alongside the Pipérade slices and I will certainly do that again.
This is a savory tart that works any time of the day. We ate it for dinner and I had the leftovers for lunch for following day. I'm having a houseful of people the end of October and this will probably be on a breakfast/brunch menu. The cheese crust stayed crisp after the leftovers were refrigerated, always a plus.
adapted from Gourmet Magazine
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
• 1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped scallions
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced
• 6 fresh Italian plum tomatoes -- seeded and coarsely chopped
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 7 dashes of hot pepper sauce
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 5 eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 prebaked Savory Cheese Crust (recipe follows)
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the red pepper, onion and scallions. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Stir in the butter and remove from the heat. Transfer to a bowl and let cool for 15 minutes.
2. Add the eggs to the cooled vegetable mixture and blend well. Spread the filling into the prebaked tart shell and bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is set but not dry. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm, at room temperature or slightly chilled.
SAVORY CHEESE CRUST
• 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• Pinch of salt
• 4 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
• 2 tablespoons frozen solid shortening, cut into small cubes
• 1 cup coarsely grated Cheddar Cheese
• 2 tablespoons ice water
1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Cut in the butter, shortening and cheese until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the water, gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a 6-inch disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a 12-inch circle. Fit into a 10-inch tart pan. Trim the dough and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
3. Line the pastry with foil and fill with dried rice or beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the rice or beans and foil and continue baking until golden. Let cool completely before filling.
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