Our little tart here was inspired by Five and Spice’s beet and fig tart (which we have also made, and it is fantastic as well). While eating the aforementioned figgy tart, I had this mini revelation: I love savory tarts! I also made this unofficial pledge to make and eat more of them. The crust is the foundation upon which all else is built and Emily (at the above mentioned Five and Spice) rocked out an excellent crust recipe. From there, you have seemingly infinite topping possibilities. Granted, one cannot help but mention the odd similarity between the tarts proposed here and my other favorite food – pizza. Be that as it may, I’ll not be drowning any tart in mozzarella and the two crusts are decidedly different.
The first savory tart to come of my unofficial pledge was a shrimp and goat cheese tart. My wife came up with this one, and it was wonderful. I’ve recreated it below so that we might once again joyously devour it. When my wife decided to make this tart, we were out of goat cheese. Unfortunately, the selection of quality cheeses at the nearest grocery store leaves something to be desired, so, we ended up getting a goat cheese that as it turned out was not crumble-able. This ended up working out rather well since we were able to spread a nice layer onto the crust which had the benefit of allowing the cheese to be more evenly dispersed. We were also able to avoid the occasional mouth-full of chalky goat cheese from a crumble left a bit too large. This might not bother everyone, but it was a slight issue I had with the beet and fig edition. So for this time around, I’m using that cheese again. Feel free to crumble, if you like.
The quality of the shrimp played a big role, I’m sure. 10/15 count wild caught, flash frozen Gulf Shrimp. These are very delicious. A pre-cooked cocktail shrimp is not going to do this justice. Just sayin’.
Alright, here’s how you work the crust.
1-1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
6 T Butter, Cold (the quality of your butter does matter, particularly with baked goods)
1 T Distilled White Vinegar
3-4 T Ice Cold Water
In a food processor, pulse together the flour and the salt. Remove the butter from the refrigerator and cut into pieces (8-12) and add them to the food processor. Process until there are no more chunks of butter and the flour reaches a coarse texture similar to corn meal. With the machine still going, add in the vinegar and then, 1 tablespoon at a time, add the water until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
Remove from the machine and reform it into a ball then press it down to form a thick disc. Wrap that in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
On with the tart:
While the dough is chillin’, we prep the rest, starting with shelling and deveining the shrimp. Give them a chop, 3-4 bit sizes pieces per shrimp (give or take, our shrimp were very large).
9 Shrimp, 10/15 count is what we used
4 Thick Cut slices of Bacon, cut into cubes or small strips
4- 5 Cloves Garlic, roughly minced
2-3 tsp. Fresh minced Rosemary
2.5 oz Goat Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Saute the bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon keeping that fatty goodness in the pan. Turn the heat down slightly, wait a minute, then add the garlic. Stir it around constantly for 30 seconds to a minute, careful not to let it burn. Next add the shrimp and rosemary. Cook for another 30 seconds or so. We want the shrimp to start taking on a bit of color, but not to fully cook. Turn off heat and set aside while you proceed with the crust’s next step.
Remove the crust from the frigo. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface in a rough circular shape to about a 1/4 inch thickness. You can certainly rustic this up a bit more and decorate it on a baker’s peel and bake it on a pizza stone. Or use a tart pan like we did. (Feel free to prick the crust all over with fork, pre-bake for 10 minutes or so, just before it starts to color and then continue. I didn’t do this this time, but I probably will next time. )
Spread the goat cheese on the dough. Now, fold over the edges, or roll them if you prefer.
Sprinkle the bacon on top of the cheese and then the shrimp mixture. Pop it into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes (less time if you have pre-baked the crust) until the crust is a nice golden brown.
For the salad:
A couple handfuls of Greens: Arugula, Spinach, Mache, Watercress, or a Spring Greens Mix, etc.
Juice of half a Lemon
2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper until somewhat emulsified.
When the tart is done baking, let it cool for a few minutes. Drizzle a little olive oil on top followed by a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. If your balsamic is not a nice and syrupy vinegar, then reduce it down a bit in a small sauce pan.
Toss the greens in the lemon vinaigrette and arrange on the tart. It is easier to arrange the greens once you’ve plated the tart. You could also serve the salad on the side just note that the lemony flavor of the greens adds a brightness to the tart that really ties the whole thing together.