It's been a glorious summer so far. There have been few days when it is so hot, I question whether I should be in my kitchen baking. That's not the case at all this year. I've been able to bake like crazy. The dew point, much of the time, would even allow meringues! My kitchen has produced many sweet and savory tarts, and one of my favorite has been this Pea and Salmon Tart that made use of freshly picked peas from my garden. For me, there is just nothing better than walking out back and picking dinner.
We have been eating every evening meal alfresco. Until a couple of nights ago, we weren't even bothered by Minnesota mosquitoes. Ideal conditions!
Fresh dill from my herb garden, above. Hydrangea, below, also from my backyard gardens.
This is the first time in many years that we have been home in Saint Paul over the 4th of July holiday. As my husband knows, I really dislike going anywhere during the summer months. I wait all winter... long Minnesota winters... for my kitchen garden. And to leave just when the haricot verts are ready to pick turns me into quite the curmudgeon.
• 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 4 tablespoons ice water
• extra flour for rolling pastry
• 1/2 cup fresh garden peas
• 1 poached, baked, or grilled wild salmon fillet, skin removed, and cut into pieces
• grated zest of 1 lemon
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
• 4 large eggs
• 1 cup fresh ricotta
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Pulse 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour and salt in a food processor. Add butter; pulse until pea-size lumps form. Drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water over the mixture. Pulse until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by drips if dry. Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic; chill 2 hours or overnight.
2. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a round or square tart pan (I used a 10-inch-by-10-inch pan); gently press onto bottom and up sides of the tart pan. Wrap in plastic and freeze while preheating oven to 400˚F.
3. Line dough with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 17 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Return to oven and bake until crust is golden. Remove crust and reduce oven temperature to 375˚F.
4. In a medium bowl, gently mix together the peas, salmon, lemon zest, dill and shallot. Transfer the mixture to the tart crust and distribute evenly over the crust. In another bowl, whisk the eggs to break up. Add the fresh ricotta, heavy cream, Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste; whisk to combine. Pour evenly over the peas and salmon.
5. Place the tart on the middle rack of the oven and bake until set, about 25 minutes. Serve warm.
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