Fast and fabulous tarts

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Summer brings with fresh and local veggies ready to be sliced and diced into an incredible tart, and what a great idea for a mid week treat that is easy and quick. Puff pastry is one of the few pre-made food items that is always in my freezer, ready for a main course, or a quick desert.

Role out a sheet of thawed puff pastry. With a small sharp knife cut out one circle of dough per person using a desert plate, or lager if you like, as a guide . Then lightly score the crust about 1/4 inch in all the way around.

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Now comes the fun part, drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the area inside of the score line, then pile on the veggies or whatever, there really is nothing that won’t work here.

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The one on the left has mushroom, zucchini, spinach, goat cheese, and parmesan cheese. The one on the right has zucchini, peperoncini, spring onions, feta cheese, olives, and a few anchovies, with couple spinach leaves left over from the other one.

After adding the toppings do another light drizzle of olive oil. Then brush the scored border with milk so it will brown when it bakes. Place it on a parchment covered cookie sheet (works best if you add the topping while the dough is already on the paper). Bake for about 12 minutes in a 400F oven, you know when it is done because the milk coated dough puffs up and brown making a beautiful tart, the cheese will melt, and dinner is served.

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This is one of those techniques that I love so much as you can modify it forever. This is good enough for company, quick enough for a work night.

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Tasteless tomatoes,

animal-vegetable-miracleThe more I learn about how and where our food comes from the more I am convinced that we need to give it a lot more thought. We need major changes in what we eat and how we raise it.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is one of the best I have read, it and Omnivores’ Dilemma are must reads.

We are actually reducing the varieties of food we can grow, killing off forever many delicious fruits and vegetables in favor of GMO’s that withstand herbicides.  Large segments of our society have no idea where food actually comes from.

A Stanford attorney was shocked to see a video of a sow and piglets, she asked an acquaintance of mine what “they” were for. When it was explained that the pigs were the source of the pork chops they had for dinner, the attorney replied, “No, the pork chops come from the store.”

There are accounts of grade school students that were shocked to find that potatoes are plants with leaves and such.

I was a sales manger for Pacific Fruit and Produce, before they became Food service of America. I remember the banana and tomato rooms. The fruit would be trucked in green, placed in these temperature controlled rooms, the room is filled with ethylene gas so the fruit can turn yellow or red; not to be confused with ripe. So the tomatoes are red, but have the flavor of cardboard.

Compare some day a tomato grown in Chile, with one grown local, or from your own backyard. The similarity is only in the color. We need to get back to local. od-3