Thursday, May 19, 2011
Tortino di Fagiolini - Green Bean Tart
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I'm not an extravagant person. I've known for years that the dream of the house on the hill is far sweeter than its acquisition and I'll never forget the lessons learned in the Italian kitchen of my childhood. While not an asetic, Mrs S. really believed that men were as rich as the things they could live without and she practiced what she preached. Some of it must have rubbed off on me. My consumer gene is quieter than most, but I occasionally stumble on something that awakens the shopper in me. That happened this morning as I was browsing through the wonderfully shameless first edition of Ruth Reichl's new venture, Gilt Taste. It's a high end catalog that features hard-to-find and artisanal food, as well as some wonderful recipes and great food writing. I was a bit poorer by the time I finished my breakfast coffee and could envision the look of disapproval Mrs. S would have given me. It also set me to thinking about the other lessons I learned while sitting at her table. She was a wonderful cook and had a natural gift for combining unusual ingredients in a way that would make a singular and scrumptious dish. One that I remembered was a frittata made with cheese and green beans. I had never been able to duplicate it, but I recently came across a very similar dish in the Los Angeles Times and decided to try it for our dinner tonight. Mrs. S. would have been pleased and I think that those of you who try this will find it very interesting. It is fairly simple to do and would make a wonderful entree for lunch or a light supper. If you are looking for meatless entrees I really think you'll like this. Here's the recipe.
Tortino di Fagiolini - Green Bean Tart...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Noelle Carter, Los Angles Times
1 1/2 pounds green beans, cleaned
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, sliced into thin strips
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup milk
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup ciabatta crumbs
1) Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add green beans and boil just until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain beans, and immediately shock them in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. When beans are just cool, drain again. Coarsely chop beans into pieces approximately 1-1/2 inches in length and place in a large bowl.
2) In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat until hot. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and begin to color, 8 to 10 minutes.
3) Stir in chopped garlic and continue to cook until onion is caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cool slightly, then toss onions and garlic with green beans.
4) Meanwhile, make egg base: In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, milk, one-fourth teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper.
5) Stir egg base in with the beans and onion mixture.
6) Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pan: Completely line a 9-inch springform pan with foil, and grease foil.
7) Pour bean mixture into pan and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake until set (it should barely jiggle, and a knife inserted will come out clean), 30 to 40 minutes. Remove and cool tortino, still in pan, on a rack.
8) When tortino is cool, cover pan and refrigerate it until chilled (chilling tortino will make it easier to slice). Serve cold or at room temperature. Yield: 6 servings.
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