I put these little crostata’s together because I was craving quiche or a tart but was feeling lazy and didn’t want to blind bake a crust. I had some small potatoes on hand, asparagus and a handful of fresh herbs in the crisper so I got to work. I’ve been rereading the book “The Everlasting Meal” and inspired by Tamar Adler’s writings on food, using ingredients on hand and being a little more innovative with my cooking. Before kids I used to come home and whip up a meal with what was ever in the fridge or pantry, in the summer I could step out into the veg patch and put together an entire meal. When our boys were born I had little time to tend a garden and relied heavily on the farmers market or the grocery store. It’s nice to have more time in the kitchen now that they are older and the ability to be a little creative again.
I was so pleased with how these turned out and I’m planning on making them again with a rotation of seasonal vegetables or fruit. They would be absolutely amazing with a mixture of chard, a little egg and your favorite cheese. For the base I slathered each crostata with roasted garlic which was the perfect combination of flavor plus a creamy component. I parboiled the baby potatoes and did a quick sauté of the asparagus and leeks, pretty simple stuff. These crostata’s make a great side dish to a meal, for a dinner party I might make two different small ones or they would be great for a main dish with a salad, perfect for a meatless Monday.
Crostata with Potato, Asparagus, Roasted Garlic and Herbs
1 1/2 lb baby potatoes (parboiled)
1 lb asparagus
2 small leeks
1 head of garlic
mixed herbs I used dill, flat leaf parsley
salt/pepper to taste
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose four
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg
1 1/2 Tbs whole milk
For the crust
Combine both flours and salt in a processor, blend for 10 seconds. Add cubed butter, pulse until pea sized clumps form. Whisk the egg and milk to blend, add to processor and pulse until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a small ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in a plastic and chill at least 2 hours. If you are planning on making 2 crostata’s divided the the dough in half and make 2 small disks, then chill.
For the filling
Preheat oven to 400°. Slice off the top quarter of the garlic head, exposing as many cloves as possible. Arrange garlic heads in a large sheet of foil. Top with 1/4 cup of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Wrap garlic tightly in foil and place on a small cookie sheet or baking dish. Roast for 45 minutes, until cloves are golden and completely soft. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Slice the asparagus into thirds, discarding any woody ends. Slice the leeks in half length wise, then into thin half moons. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add leeks and cook for 5 minutes, add asparagus and cook for an additional 5 minutes, season to taste. Combine the parboiled potatoes with leeks and asparagus. Set aside too cool.
When ready to roll out the crostata, set out the dough for 15 minutes to soften. Roll out to dough to a 10 inch circle approximately if making one crostata, if making two small ones roll into roughly a 6 inch circle. Spread the roasted garlic cloves in the center of dough, spreading up to an inch from the boarder. Evenly distribute the potatoes and asparagus on top of roasted garlic, top with feta and fresh herbs. Gently fold edges of dough over filling, pleating as needed. Brush boarder with egg. Slide crostata onto rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is heated through, 45 minutes. Let crostata cool on baking sheet on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.