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Spicy beet green and fennel tomato tart recipe

Tuesday, June 03, 2014   by: Greener Ideal

By 

When I first started to cook, I had no faith in myself. Being in the kitchen was terrifying to me, so everything came out of a box or a packet to ensure I couldn’t make it “wrong.” The first year my husband and I were married, I even bought a box of rotini with spices to make a “homemade” pasta salad. (It still blows my mind. I spent nearly 4 dollars for 2 servings of pasta salad!)

But then, gradually, I fell in love with cooking. And once that happened, my fear just melted away. I learned the big kitchen lesson: You’re always going to do something wrong at some point – and that’s okay. If you’re lucky you can salvage it. If you’re not lucky, then you just need the number of the nearest pizzeria. Cooking is a process. For every sauce that’s too salty, you learn to season it with a more steady hand the next time. For every dry pork chop, you learn how to make a brine. Once I let the fear go, I felt nearly zen-like.

Of course, the glass of wine along with that realization helped.

But there’s still one thing that I cook with out of a box, and that’s puff pastry. At some point I’m going to learn how to make if from scratch, but for now, I’m fine with just keeping a box of it in the freezer.

And that frozen puff pastry lets me have more time to indulge my love of the vegetables that go on top of this tart. Fresh-from-the-farmers-market beet greens, beautiful tri-colored organic cherry tomatoes that I found on sale and, finally, a spice blend that makes the whole kitchen smell divine.

This is the perfect dish to make when you’re in a hurry after work and you need to get dinner on the table. Or even better, if you’re feeling lazy, but you still want to pamper yourself while marathoning House of Cards.

If you don’t have a spice grinder, buy an inexpensive coffee grinder at a second hand store. It’s worth it to be able to play with your own spice blends. They make the house smell more inviting than incense or an air freshener ever could. And check locally for bulk spice shops or check some out on line. Inexpensive spices are like a little present to yourself.

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