I am not a breakfast girl.  I know that it is the most important meal of the day, but I really struggle with sacrificing even 15 minutes of my sleep for breakfast.  That being said, I do enjoy breakfast.  The savoury aspect of eggs and bacon or sausages really appeals to me – pancakes, not so much.  I know they have good potential.  I just can’t seem to bring myself to eat them very often.  They are too sweet, too mushy.  So savoury it is.

A few weeks back I was cleaning out the fridge and found myself with some random bits and pieces that needed to be used: a few slices of bacon, an older jar of sundried tomatoes and a half bag of spinach.  My mind immediately went to a quiche, but Taster Boy is not a lover of quiche, too fluffy and full of eggs for him.  So I thought of a picture of a tart that I saw in Jamie Oliver’s book, Cooking at Home.  He had made it in a rimmed baking sheet, it looked rustic and a little different.  I pulled out the recipe and reviewed.  It called for it’s own version of crust and really focused on onions and spinach as the flavours.  Sounded good, but of course it had to be tweaked because I can seldom leave a recipe alone!

I opted to make my own stand by pastry crust but added about ½ a cup of sharp cheddar cheese, lowering the lard content to compensate.  This added a wonderful richness to the crust.  I used one egg and egg beaters to keep it a little healthier (yes, I know, adding the egg to the cheese to the crust was so not a healthy option, but pick and choose right?)  I loved that you could really throw anything into the tart.  Essentially whatever you would like with an omelet, you could add to this recipe.  Perhaps we should call this “Clean out the fridge Breakfast Tart”.

You could cut yourself a square of it and heat it up in the toaster oven, either at home or at work.  A grab and go breakfast that I literally have to just heat up is a good option for those of who prefer sleep and the snooze button.  I would love to hear what flavor combinations you might enjoy, or have already created yourself!

PS – my mom thinks this could be frozen well, because quiches can be frozen.  So I would individually cut and wrap in cellophane and then foil and then try.  Worth a shot if you have leftovers you don’t think you will get through.

Spinach tomato bacon tart

Ingredients:

Dough
2 cups AP flour
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp vinegar (I was out of regular vinegar and tried red wine, it was pretty good)
1 cup ice cold water (you won’t use all of this)
1/4 cup Crisco lard
½ tsp salt
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Tart Filling
1 egg
1/3  cup egg beaters (2 eggs worth)
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3 cups clean washed spinach
1 medium sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese.
¼ cup chopped sundried tomatoes
4 slices of bacon, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Prepare the dough by combining the flour and the salt on a clean counter top
  2. Add the Crisco, using two knives chop it up into the flour to create an oatmeal consistency.  You want it keep little “pebbles” of lard in the flour and not make it too fine because in the oven these will puff up and create the delicious flakiness you want with your pastry dough.  I always used to make the dough in a bowl.  But I found the knives a little cumbersome in a rounded object and then realized you are already going to roll the dough onto the counter, so why not just start there?
  3. Stir in the grated cheddar cheese
  4. Beat the egg in a small measuring cup, add the vinegar and then add cold water until you reach a one cup measure
  5. Make a small well in your flour mixture, pour about 1/3 of the liquid into the well.  With a fork start stirring the flour from the centre into the liquid and continue until fully combined.  You may need to add more water or flour depending on humidity of your flour
  6. Lightly grease your pan with either pam or a light light coating of butter.
  7. Roll out to fit your baking sheet.  Crimp edges, poke with fork and place in freezer for half an hour.  This way you don’t need to blind bake and then tart should not shrink too much or pull from the edges of the pan.
  8. Preheat oven to 425F
  9. Bake tart shell for 15-20 minutes, until just a about to brown.  This allows you to add the egg mixture and not get a soggy bottom tart.
  10. While the tart is baking, in a large non-stick frying pan heat up the EVOO on medium heat.  Add sliced onions (if you are daring and like garlic, add a minced clove or two, delish!) Slowly sautee onions. Don’t rush it let them sweat and cook down, not brown.
  11. Once onions have cooked for about 10 minutes, add spinach.  You may need to do this in batches depending on how big your pan is.  Allow to wilt. Cook out the liquid. If this isn’t happening, drain it from the pan.
  12. Set aside until ready to bake tart.
  13. In a small bowl combine the egg and beaters and whisk until light and frothy.  I find an immersion blender quite helpful to incorporate lots of air into it.
  14. In the prebaked tart, spread out the spinach and onion mixture, sprinkle the sundried tomatoes and minced bacon and then pour in the egg mixture.  Add the shredded parm on top.
  15. Turn oven down to 375F
  16. Place tart in the oven, allow to bake for about 20 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbling.
  17. Remove and let cool to reasonable warm temperature, or even room temp and enjoy!
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