One year for my birthday, my friend Jane made me a chard and saffron tart for dinner from the Greens cookbook. It was so divine it became one of our favorites; often making it for potlucks and for one another when we got together. This week when Jane came for dinner, I made this Potato and Spinach Tart with Garlic, Lemon and Feta – inspired by our love of tarts, but with an entirely new and inspiring flavor. It was so good, I didn’t even remember to take a picture of it until it was almost gone!
As we often talk about in the Art of Home Herbalism and the Art of Home Herbalism Online, winter is a time to enjoy cooked, nourishing foods like root vegetables, cooked greens, soaked and slow cooked grains, and animal fats and proteins. It is a great time to eat what we might call comfort foods! When we prepare comfort foods with intention and love, good quality ingredients, herbs and spices, they take on an entirely different and highly nourishing identity compared to the processed comfort foods that people often turn to. If you are craving comfort foods this winter, consider something home-made – treat yourself to the comforts of home cooking!
You can substitute other root vegetables for the potatoes and other greens for the spinach. It’s a great use of winter crops.
2 medium sized potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch rounds (skins on)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 – 3 cups fresh spinach washed and coarsely chopped
freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup milk or half and half
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
pinch of cardamom
4 – 6 ounces feta cheese
Boil the potatoes in a pot of lightly salted water until just cooked through, but not mushy. Drain and set aside. While the potatoes are cooking, saute the spinach in the olive oil with a few twists of freshly ground pepper. Once wilted turn off the heat, add the garlic, lemon and set aside.
Whisk together the milk, creme fraiche or sour cream, eggs and pinch or cardamom until well combined. Add the feta cheese.
On a floured surface, roll the pastry crust out into 1/4 – 1/8 inch thick disk, large enough to fit comfortably into a pie pan with some extra on the sides. Transfer to a pie pan, fitting the crust into the bottom and turning in the edges and crimping them with your fingers or a fork.
arrange cooked potato slices in a circular pattern along the bottom of the pie pan, overlapping them if needed to fit them all. Spread spinach evenly over potatoes and pour egg, milk, feta filling over this. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes, until the center is set and no longer jiggles. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. I served with winter greens and a tahini balsamic vinaigrette.
Note: if you use the potato crust, consider using sweet potatoes in place of the potatoes in the tart filling to add a more dynamic flavor!