Warmup

Winter’s back is broken. There’s no doubt about it. A week ago it was almost 60˚, and bare ground now roughly balances the areas still covered in snow. Liquid water is a not-uncommon sight outside during the day. The birds are beginning to go apeshit every morning. And the smell of soil and plants is emerging to mingle with the warming air. I don’t suggest that we aren’t due for several more beat-downs, but there’s no mistaking the signs. And I am happy.

Now I’m the type of guy who starts wearing shorts in March in the hopes that I will fool Nature into warming up faster, but this time around it was a purely culinary nudge. We had a lucky confluence of ingredients in the fridge, and I had a half-recipe of crust left from making a birthday apple tart for a friend down the road. And we loves us some savory tarts.

So, in no particular order, I layered the following onto a thinly-rolled (duh) crust: caramelized onions with lemon thyme and balsamic vinegar, the very last of some canned diced tomatoes, leftover steamed kale, basil pesto, kalamata olives, pine nuts, and some log chèvre. After about 40 minutes in the oven (I don’t usually blind bake these first) it was simultaneously a preview of the best of summer and a big upraised middle finger to the tattered husk of winter that’s skulking away like Dick Cheney to the undisclosed bondage dungeon that he time-shares with Bill O’Reilly.

11 comments to Warmup

  • Zoomie

    Simply beautiful.

  • cook eat FRET

    and pine nuts

  • peter

    Zoomie: Beautifully simple.

    Claudia: I saw, and I fixed it.

  • cook eat FRET

    you’re so ON IT

  • Brittany

    Love a kitchen savory sink tart.

    Especially when it’s not quiche.

  • Brittany

    I mean kitchen sink savory.

    I just woke up and I drank a lot last night.

  • Heather

    Can one even skulk from a wheelchair?

    Peter, darling, I fervently wait to see your continued profligation of winter’s callous death-grip as we all glide toward more vernal eating. I fucking love, love this time of year.

  • cookiecrumb

    Nice one. I had pizza yesterday too (in a restaurant), and it was emotionally important.

  • peter

    Claudia: On it like a bonnet.

    Brittany: Uh… you’re a professional chef. I expect nothing less from you.

    Blanche: Dissolute ≠ dissolution. I can’t BELIEVE you’re writing a book.

    CC: That’s because you’re a hippie.

  • The Spiteful Chef

    lemon thyme and balsamic is one of my most favorite combinations. If I didn’t have a thing about goat cheese, I’d eat this. I’d try it with creamy brie or mozzarella or something not so goaty, and I bet it’d be fab. Nothing against your dish, just that I don’t like goat cheese. I do, however, accept goat meat on occasion. I’m nuts.

  • Heather

    Hey, obsolescence doesn’t imply improper use!

    I’m such a fucking hack. What a relief that you called me out so early, before I could further humiliate myself.

    (It does mean overthrow, I didn’t make it up.)

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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