Sometimes you have to make something easy, like a salmon and spinach tart (torta salata con salmone e spinaci). Believe me when I will tell you, this has to become a part of your life today!
Do you love salmon? We do!! We make it a couple of times of month. I really love smoked salmon, but I did not use smoked salmon for this tart. If you happen to have smoked salmon on hand, that would go along fine with this recipe. This recipe came together in a random way as I was figuring out what to do with some super fabulous leftovers from a birthday barbecue we had 2 nights before. I was looking at this lovely portion of baked salmon, some gorgeous roasted potatoes and a bag of spinach that needed to be used up fast. And there you go! This is how we got our dinner together!
I didn't have any dill on hand, but I did have some lovely fresh tarragon that is thriving next to my other fresh herbs on my patio. I added a little bit of the fresh tarragon for a pop of flavor, but you could use dill if you prefer.
What do you think of this crazy spring weather? Just when you think the snow and cold temps are gone, surprise! Now that we are dealing with snow over here, but the temps did cool down again.
Just when you think the snow and cold temps are gone, surprise! Now that we are dealing with snow over here, but the temps did cool down again. If you are dealing with a little bit more of snow and need a taste of spring to brighten up your days, this is the recipe for you! Like I said, this was a quick and last minute dinner idea, but it's also great for a brunch or for lunch. It's really that one dish that is so versatile and wonderful!
I'm working my way through recipes I've made planned out and spontaneously. Now if I could only find the time to get it all together and faster here for all of you to enjoy. It's a constant working progress. I remember one time my friend MJ said (at a panel she was on at a conference) that the first thing she does is edit the photos and get them ready in the post so all she has to do then is the recipes and the text to go with it. I have been doing that, but then it's just remembering what I wanted to say to go with the recipe! Yes, I know! I should keep a little journal next to the counter and jot down notes. I do that also! I also sometimes jot down notes on my I-Phone.
I actually love to do that when we are in Italy, because my mother-in-law is always saying something that is so clever (not intending to be clever)and charming and totally different than American mentality. Like after we are finished prepping and cooking and setting the table (there are usually about 10 at the table at her house minimum), and the temperatures get even hotter around 1:30PM (that's the time of the big meal in Italy, in case you didn't know), she will ask me to close the curtain around the balcony windows. I never quite get it. I understand you have the bag windows of the house closed, because of course, it's causing a draft and drafts are really bad for you. But even the front part of the house, which is now the only source of ventilation, must be covered? It's mind boggling and I try to respect my place, because it's not my house, but still, one has to be breath while they eat!
Anyway, back to this super simple torta salata (savory tart). It was a day after our son's birthday party and we had (typical)made a little too much food. I found myself with some fantastic cooked salmon and roasted potatoes. I had a ton of fresh tarragon growing in my herb garden and a bag of fresh spinach.
I love the flavorful crust recipe that is my go-to recipe for most of my tarts, but go ahead and use a refrigerator pie crust. They are so perfect for last minute savory tarts (or sweet pies...oh, I love pies!).
some notes on the recipe: I love the flavorful crust recipe that is my go-to recipe for most of my tarts, but go ahead and use a refrigerator pie crust. They are so perfect for last minute savory tarts (or sweet pies...oh, I love pies!). This tart is really so versatile. I chose to use the ingredients I had on hand ready to go. You could use smoked salmon if you don't have any leftover cooked salmon or if you don't feel like making your own salmon. I've made versions with bacon. This is a wonderful tart made with ricotta (love, love RICOTTA!). This savory tart is made with ham and goat cheese (you could change the cheese if you don't like goat cheese).
Salmon and Spinach Tart-Torta Salata con Salmone e Spinaci
Prep Time: approx 1 1/2 hours
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Ingredients (1 9-inch tart)
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- 1 teaspoon cold cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into small pieces
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 cup salmon, cooked and broken into small pieces
- 1 cup of potatoes, cooked and cut into small pieces
- 2 cups spinach, cooked and cut into pieces (make sure all excess water has been squeezed from the spinach)
- 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine water and vinegar in a small bowl. Combine flour and salt in another bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter and cream cheese into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining.
Add water mixture to dough in a slow, steady stream, stirring, until mixture just begins to hold together. (Alternatively, pulse ingredients in a food processor.) Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Press dough into a disk. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight.
Filling Directions: Fry bacon until browned and nearly crisp, then scoop it out to drain on a paper towel. Throw out bacon grease, wipe out pan, and add olive oil. Add the onion and cook until soft and lightly colored (about 7 minutes). Be sure to stir the onions occasionally. Add the sweet potatoes, zucchini, and thyme (or rosemary) salt, and some crushed pepper. Cook for about another 7 minutes.
While vegetables cook, whisk eggs with cream and milk. Stir in cooled onions, cheese and bacon.
Roll dough to fit your chosen tart pan, then drape dough in pan. Neatly press dough up the sides of the pan and shape it. Set it on a sheet pan. Scatter vegetable mixture and part of the bacon crumbled over the tart (reserve rest of bacon to crumble on top when finished). Toss the goat cheese over the vegetables. Pour in the egg mixture. Place the tart pan over a foil lined cookie sheet.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the tart is golden brown and the filling is set. Check tart at about 30 minutes. If the tart shell is browning too much, cover the tart with foil paper for the rest of the baking time. Let tart cool before removing from tart pan or slice directly in the tart pan when warm.