#MeatlessMondays – Let thy food be thy medicine with this tasty artichoke tart

Artichoke Tart - Pastel de AlcachofasArtichokes are not only beautiful and complex on the outside, but they are also filled with deep inner beauty in the form of nutrition. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this, is the way Amelia, our cook, used to save the water in which she boiled artichokes, and drink it for its health benefits. “It’s good for the liver,” she would say; so I obediently started drinking artichoke water the morning after a big night out, to recover from the hangover. Amelia’s home remedy may not sound very scientific, but it has been confirmed by many health practitioners every time I’ve looked for detox programs in my favorite health stores, and found they all included this ingredient.Artichoke Tart - Pastel de Alcachofas

The liver is a very loyal organ, I once heard. We eat and eat ice cream, and chocolate, and mayonnaise, and gallons of butter hidden in all those croissants, mashed potatoes, and pop corn. On top of this, we sip down cocktail after cocktail every weekend like there’s no tomorrow, and our good ol’ liver just goes on, relentlessly cleaning the house despite our unfriendliness. So I would like to use this #MeatlessMonday to honor and pamper our bodies, and especially our livers, by eating many solemn-looking artichokes in one go. Let’s make Hippocrates proud and use our food as medicine with this delicious tart full of artichoke goodness and amazing taste.Pie crust

I made this recipe last Tuesday, hoping that it would last for at least 2 or 3 days. One of the great things about these kind of vegetable tarts that are so typical in Lima, is that you can make a whole big round pie, and cut a portion whenever you feel hungry. The perfect snack or light meal! And the best part is that you don’t even have to heat it up, because it’s as good -or better- at room temperature. But I was mistaken. I guess it had been too long since we had enjoyed this wonderful recipe, and we all got carried away with excitement and finished it in just one day. So much for my 3 day snack plan!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The usual way of making this tart is to cover it with a layer of dough, so that it has a crust on the top and the bottom. This time I chose to leave out that extra layer, just to enjoy more of the exquisite filling with less distractions. I also used a mix of organic quinoa and rice flours, instead of wheat flour. The texture was more crumbly than usual, and I have to admit the original is nicer, but I just get a kick out of making my recipes healthier, and in this case, gluten-free. In the recipe below, I will share the original no-fail pie dough my mom and I got from the book “Joy of Cooking”, and love to use. If desired, replace with whole wheat flour, or use your favorite pie crust recipe.

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Artichoke tart - Pastel de Alcachofa
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 5-6 tablespoons iced water
  • For the filling:
  • 12 artichoke hearts, or 8 whole large artichokes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 garlic cloved, minced
  • ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour (I used ½ quinoa flour, ½ rice flour)
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg (to taste)
Instructions
  1. For the crust:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the crust, except the water, until it has the texture of oatmeal.
  4. Start adding the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until dough forms.
  5. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for at least ½ hour.
  6. When ready, flatten it out with a rolling pin, over a floured surface.
  7. Line a 9-inch spring-form baking pan with dough, and pinch all the surface with a fork.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes (you can fill the pan with raw beans or chickpeas to avoid any bubbles from forming).
  9. While this is in the oven, you can start getting the filling ready.
  10. Remove from the oven until the filling is ready.
  11. For the filling:
  12. Cook the artichokes in boiling water until soft (around 30 minutes). Remove the pulp from the leaves, and finely chop the hearts and pulp.
  13. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Sautee the garlic for 1 minute, stirring. Add the onion and sautee, stiring, until soft.
  14. Turn the heat off and add the flour, whisking constantly to avoid any lumps from forming.
  15. Gradually add the milk, and don't stop whisking.
  16. When everything is smooth, turn the heat back on, and bring to a boil, stirring, until the sauce thickens and becomes like a cream.
  17. Add the artichoke, cheese, and seasonings, stir well, and take off the heat. Let this mixture cool for 15 minutes.
  18. After 15 minutes, beat the eggs with a fork or a hand whisk. Add to the artichoke mixture, incorporate everything, and pour over the pre-cooked crust.
  19. If desired, you can cover the pie with another thin layer of dough. make sure you seal the top to the sides.
  20. Bake for 40 minutes, remove from the oven, and let cool before cutting and serving.

 

 

Comments

  1. Now this looks just devine!! Wow!! I love artichoke, I’ll have to try this out for sure!
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love artichokes and this tart looks to die for. Will try your recipe, I’m sure my mom would love this too!

  3. I’ve never eaten artichokes before…but I’m always willing to try! And this looks lovely.

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