Are there still fishes in the sea? – Salmon tart with spinach, onions and dill on a black sesame seeds, chili and herb crust
Y a t-il encore des poissons dans la mer? – Tarte au saumon, épinards, onions et aneth avec pâte au sésame, piment et herbes
I love my rectangular molds and think I haven’t used them that much, so I need to place them somewhere I can see them, otherwise I tend to forget I have them. What a shame. Well, it’s the same thing with clothes, the ones you don’t see, you don’t wear.
I just realized the sun goes down sooner, it’s completely dark at 8pm in San Francisco, despite the weather being sunnier. Completely the opposite of where I grew up. The longest days are in June, you still have light at 10pm and it’s really a wonderful feeling. So fall is just around the corner, I feel time goes by so fast, you blink, and one month is already gone.
Fall recipes are coming and I will be exploring plenty of delicious savory tarts. They are a perfect light lunch of appetizer. J’adore les tartes salées! Tu veux une tarte? Do you want a tart? In French slang than can also mean a slap! Not sure exactly where that comes from.
The particularity of this tart is its crust. I have decided to use less and less refined white flours, and use organic spelt, whole wheat or other nutritious flours made out of grains. Then, in addition, I decided to flavor the crust. This crust has black sesame seeds, chili flakes and dried mixed herbs…and olive oil instead of butter. So we have a healthy version of the traditional French tarts with pate brisee made with white flour and butter. I prefer to use olive oil for savory tarts than butter, the crust is lighter, and you can taste the olive oil which adds a lot of character to the tart.
I am still dealing with the dilemma of eating wild salmon vs. the farm raised one, and I really don’t know what to do. I don’t want to eat salmon that had been injected with coloring, nor eat grey salmon (I don’t think they would sell it anyway) but I don’t want to contribute to destruction of environment. So I am confused.
I had leftover dough that I will use to make some other tart, but the quantities for the tart are good for a round medium size mold of maybe 8.5 inches diameter. My rectangular one is 14×4 inches. If you are using a larger mold, you need to adjust quantities, add 1 egg and more milk and cream and probably extra spinach.
The below pictures are a traditional French mustard, tomato and tuna tart, made with leftover crust I had. This is a very quick and easy savory tart, nonetheless delicious. You can use any type of dough for this an it turned out great with the sesame, chili and herb crust. You just need Dijon mustard, tomatoes, tuna, chives, and of course the egg/cream/milk mixture. This is what we make when you don’t know what to cook and you have some unexpected guest that pop in.
Ingredients for about 6 people
For the crust
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup unbleached flour
- 1/2 cup spelt flour
- 1 tsp black sesame seeds
- 1/2 tps chili flakes
- 1 tsp mixed dried herbs like herbes de Provences, etc…
- 80 ml olive oil
- 1/3 cup water
- a few pinches of salt
For the topping
- 6 cups raw baby spinach (or 1 cup of unfrozen spinach)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 salmon steak (about 1/2 lb), cut in cubes
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup low fat milk (or regular milk)
- 1 1/2 tbs dill, chopped
- 1 tbs chives, chopped
- 1 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the crust
Mix all flours in a mixing container. Add sesame seeds, chili and herbs, mix well to combine all ingredients. Add olive oil and salt. Add water gradually, while mixing to obtain a smooth dough. Do not over knead. Form a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 min.
In large pot, heat olive oil, add garlic, cook for a few seconds to get flavor out, then add spinach. Add salt and pepper, and keep stirring until the spincah are wilted. Remove from heat and squeez excess water. Set aside.
In a pan, heat olive oil, and add onions. Cook the onions slowly until the melt and become soft. When cooked, add 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar, and stir for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a mixing container, mix eggs, eggs, cream, salt and pepper.
Roll the dough and place in your greased non-stick mold (it’s better to grease them anyway even if they don’t stick). Add onion layer, then place spinach, followed by the cubed salmon. Add dill and pour egg mixture on top. Add cracked black pepper.
Cook in a pre-heated oven at 375F for about 30 minutes or until the top of the tart is golden brown. Serve hot with a simple green salad.
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