nosh friday: apricot and goat cheese tart
Hear ye, hear ye!
This particular Nosh Friday marks a rather special occasion — this tart is one of my first original recipes. (Well, okay, not my ABSOLUTE first, but one of the first ones that I think counts.)
I suppose if I wanted to be uber-pretentious, I could call this “tarte d’abricot et chevre avec de la lavande” but I will resist — mostly because I’m pretty sure if I named it something so lengthy, people would be out of breath and too tired after just saying the name to actually want to make it.
And you want to make this, my friends.
Oh yes, you want to make this.
Apricots are right in season at the moment, along with our other fragrant stone fruit friends, peaches and plums. While I was walking home with my (huge) bag of finds from the Farmer’s Market last Saturday, the pint of apricots and the sack of arugula in my bag began floating around my imagination. Both were impulse buys, so there were no recipes or plans waiting at home for them. Hmmm, what to do, what to make?
Then this idea for this tart floated into my mind. I “oooohhhed” out loud as I walked, popping warm blueberries in my mouth. I knew that I had to try it, even if it turned out kind of weird. I like experimenting and so as I laid down to sleep on Saturday night, my mind was buzzing with thoughts of golden-orb’d tarts. As I slept tucked up in my little bed (or truthfully, ungracefully sprawled out under a fan on my big bed, sweaty and without sheets), I dreamt that I made this tart, but added fresh thyme and dried lavender to the goat cheese. I woke up Sunday morning and thought, “What a great idea, dream self! I think I will do just that.”
My dreams did not lead me astray. I loved the light, floral lavender and the lemony thyme countered against the crisp, peppery arugula, the sweet, honey-basted apricots and the creamy goat cheese.
(Not that I have to convince you, but even my picky brother-in-law ate two pieces of this! I know, I was shocked. Apparently, my powers are greater than I know.)
Apricot and Goat Cheese Tart
Tart dough recipe from Smitten Kitchen, the rest from my imagination
1 9-inch tart crust, par-baked (I used SK’s trusty recipe)
4 oz. goat cheese, softened
8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems and finely chopped
1 t. dried lavender
8 apricots, halved and pitted
2 T. honey, preferably raw and local
1 cup fresh arugula, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the softened goat cheese in a small bowl and use a fork to incorporate the lavender and chopped thyme. Take your cooled par-baked tart crust and, using a rubber spatula, spread an even layer of the goat cheese on the bottom. Halve and pit your apricots, placing them skin-side up in a circular pattern on top of the goat cheese. Pour the honey into a small bowl and using a pastry brush, lightly brush the apricots with honey.
Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the apricots are soft and the crust is browned. Baste the apricots with the remaining tablespoon of honey once the tart is out of the oven and cooling. Roughly chop the arugula and in a medium bowl, toss with a drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of fresh lemon juice and sprinkling of salt and fresh ground pepper. Set aside.
Slice the tart into 8 pieces and just before serving, top with the arugula salad.
Serves 6 to 8