Meatless Monday: Spring Onion and Ricotta Fresca Tart with Scapes and Sage
We grew onions for the first time this year and they were the inspiration for this week's Meatless Monday dish. Well, not just our home-grown onions but also our sage, as well as a few ingredients from Sunday's Farmers' Market, namely, a handful of garlic scapes we got for a dollar, and some just-made ricotta fresca from our friends at Beltane Farm in Lebanon, CT. We call it a tart, but the addition of milk and eggs may cause a debate among our foodie friends and readers who may want us to call it a quiche. Suum cuique, we say. All we know for sure is that it was deliciously satisfying.
and sage (right)
Bushel of garlic scapes, Coventry Regional Farmers' Market
We allowed the onions and scapes to caramelize in some fresh-sage-infused olive oil with a bit of sugar, salt and balsamic vinegar. Whisking in egg yolks with the whole eggs and milk gave the tart that rich and creamy yet still springy consistency one desires in a tart/quiche-thing. The crumbled ricotta fresca made from goats' milk resisted melting, was milky and sweet, and gave us something to bite into, which meant we hardly noticed it was a meatless dish. Meanwhile, the store-bought refrigerated pie crust made things a bit easier for a "manic" Monday.
Quickly frying the sage leaves makes for infused oil and pretty garnish
Onions and scapes are sprinkled with sugar then caramelized
Egg yolks, eggs, milk and chopped sage about to be whisked together
Ricotta Fresca from Beltane Farm
The ricotta is crumbled over the caramelized onion mixture inside the (raw) pie crust, awaiting the milk and eggs...
1 refrigerated pie crust, thawed
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 large fresh sage leaves (whole)
2 onions, diced
6 garlic scapes, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tabelspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup milk
3 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
6 ounces ricotta fresca*
*Note: it so happened that our ricotta was seasoned with chopped chives which enhanced the flavor of the spring onion. If you so desire, chop one or two fresh chives and add them to the mix.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press the pie crust into a pie plate and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and fry the sage leaves until they are crispy. Carefully remove the sage leaves and place on a paper towel; set aside. Add the chopped scapes and diced onion to the oil and place over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with sugar and cook the onions until they are translucent. Add the salt and balsamic vinegar and continue to cook until caramelization occurs. Spread the onions into the bottom of the pie crust and crumble half of the ricotta fresca over the onions. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolks, eggs, black pepper and sage. Pour this over the onions and cheese inside the pie crust. Crumble the remaining ricotta into the mixture and place in oven. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, or until the center of the tart is firm and springy. Serve each slice garnished with a fried sage leaf.