Green Bean and Fennel Tart Recipe

Green Bean and Fennel Tart Recipe Recipe

I spent the entire week in Los Angeles. I took the opportunity to visit relatives and family friends, and I even ended up teaching them a couple of dishes.

The concept for this savory tart is very simple. I showed them how to make a flaky crust that took no more than 5 minutes. Then I used whatever vegetables we had on hand. This version contained thinly sliced fennel, shallots, super sweet baby bell peppers and dill for the filling. I wanted a pop of color, so as soon as the tart was fully baked, I topped it with boiled, bright green haricots verts and a few slices of homemade mozzarella. I returned it to the oven for a few minutes and we were done. What a fun way to spend Sunday in the kitchen! 

Ingredients

Yields: 6 servings

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg
3 tablespoons ice water
1 fennel bulb (see tips)
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground coriander
6 sweet baby bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces haricots verts (French green beans)
1 mozzarella ball, sliced


Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

For the tart shell:

In a mixing bowl, combine 1¼ cups flour and ¾ teaspoon salt and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and add the 8 tablespoons of cold butter, 1 egg and ice water. Blend until the mixture becomes thick. Make sure not to over-mix it. 

Dust a flat surface with additional flour. Place the dough and roll it out into a 13-inch dough round.

Transfer the dough to a non-stick, loose-bottomed rectangular (12" x 8") tart mold lined with parchment paper; following the curve of the mold, crimp the dough against the edge. Leave a little excess above the edge because the dough will settle a bit in the oven. Prick the dough with a fork. Chill in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes. 

Making the fennel filling:

Discard the stalk of the fennel bulb (or keep for garnish) and thinly slice the bulb (see tips).

In a large pan, heat the olive oil. Add the shallots. When the color is translucent. Add the sliced fennel bulb and baby bell peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until slightly browned. Season with salt, paprika and ground coriander. Add about a few tablespoons of water.  Continue cooking for 3-5 more minutes, tossing by shaking the pan. Add black pepper. Transfer to a platter, garnish with dill and set aside.

For the haricots verts:

Wash the haricots verts. Blanch them for about 2-3 minutes in boiling salted water and transfer to an ice bath. Drain thoroughly of all water, then pat dry on a paper towel. Do not overcook the green beans; they should still be tender and crisp, not mushy, or you will have depleted all the healthy nutrients. Trim the ends of the beans. Cut the beans into 2½-inch long pieces so they fit on the tart. 

Assembly:

Cover the dough with the fennel mixture, with as little liquid as possible. Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350°F and bake for 20 more minutes.

Remove the tart from the oven and spread the green beans over the filling, Cover with the sliced mozzarella. Return to the oven for 5 minutes and bake until lightly golden. 

Serve warm with a salad.

Bon appétit!


Tips

Instead of making one large tart, you could also form individual-serving sizes.

You can use any other vegetables that are in season, such as broccoli, squash, cauliflower or even green peas.

For the fennel bulb: Cut about ¼-inch thick slices with a mandoline. Or if you don't own one, you can use a sharp chef's knife.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on February 10, 2014.


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