Egg and Herb Tart with Arugula Pesto

Recipe by Katie Lew of Cook it Fresh

Makes six servings

When I visited A Joyful Noise Farm last month to observe their hog-butchering class, I was inspired by the many fresh ingredients grown there. After tasting some of the fresh, spicy arugula grown in their four-season greenhouses, I knew I had to find a way to use it in a dish. This tart is a wonderful way to showcase farm-fresh eggs because, unlike a traditional quiche, the eggs are left whole. Arugula lends a spicy edge to the pesto that is a perfect accompaniment to the creamy tart filling.

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Ingredients:

 

For the crust:

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup shortening

3-5 tablespoons ice water

 

Filling:

10 eggs

¼ cup cream

2 tablespoons butter

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons finely minced herbs (I used chives, thyme and parsley)

Salt and pepper

 

Pesto:

4 ounces fresh arugula

2 ounces pine nuts

¼ cup olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

 

Preparation:

 

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 425º F. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the shortening and cut it into the flour mixture, using a pastry blender or two forks, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, and stir it gently into the flour until a soft pastry forms.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly-floured counter or board to the desired size. I used a 13 X 4-inch rectangular tart pan, but a regular 9-inch pie plate would work fine as well. Gently roll the pastry onto a rolling pin and then transfer it to the pan. Press gently to line the pie plate or tart pan and trim the edges even with the pan. Weigh down the pastry with pie weights or dry beans to prevent the crust from puffing up, and bake in the preheated oven until the edges just begin to brown, 10-25 minutes. Remove pan from the oven but keep oven preheated to 425º F. After the crust has cooled for a few minutes, remove the pie weights.

 

For the filling:

While the crust is baking, place the butter, cream, and garlic in a small skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until the butter has melted and the garlic just begins to smell fragrant. Add the fresh herbs and set aside.

Once the weights have been removed from the crust, immediately crack the 10 eggs into the crust. Pour the herbed cream evenly over the eggs and season generously with salt and pepper. Return tart to the oven and bake until the eggs are cooked to desired doneness, about 10 minutes. Check frequently to make sure the edges of the crust are not burning. If the edges are getting too brown, cover them with a pie shield or aluminum foil to prevent burning. Cool the tart for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with a little of the arugula pesto on the side of each slice.

 

For the pesto:

Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add extra olive oil as needed to create a smooth, creamy texture. Check for seasoning and add extra salt if needed.

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