Greens olives and pecan tart
Malcolm and Isaac did some free writing in school. Isaac said that he wrote about Clio, our puppy. He wrote that she was mostly housebroken. It’s sweet that he loves her, and he’s “writing what he knows,” which is the oldest advice in the book. He’s writing about something solid and important to him. We asked Malcolm what he wrote about, and I expected something along the same lines. “Tennis ball world!” Yes, a world made entirely of tennis racket strings. We all have tennis balls on our shoes, and we bounce from place to place. And there’s water under the tennis racket strings, and we all have cups that we can dip in the water… I love both answers so much! For some reason it made me think of Thoreau’s quote, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” For Malcolm and Isaac at this moment, imagination is their work. Letting their minds wander, and inventing new worlds and new ways of living in this world is their job. I love to see the earthbound objects that hold their flights of fancy. Everything they see and hear and find and eat, everything is fed into the fire of their imaginations and comes out wonderfully transformed. My mom and dad gave Malcolm my old tennis rackets. Isaac’s new pictures of dragons have Clio’s claws. It’s all connected. I hope as they get older they manage to find a balance between practical and fantastical. I’ve seen their drawings and heard their stories, I know they’ll both make remarkable castles.
This tart has layers. It has lots of greens. It’s very densely greeny. The crust is tall and thin and crispy, to provide some crunch for all the greeniness. We got bags of small fall lettuces from the CSA. They’re a little bitter, and very delicate. Not to everyone’s taste in a salad. But if you sautee them lightly, and then combine them with eggs and cheese, their sharpness provides just the right kick. If you can’t find little fall lettuces, you can use arugula. The second layer also involves greens. It’s chard, not pureed, but chopped, so it retains some of it’s lovely texture. It’s combined with olives and garlic. And the top layer is a sort of pecan frangipane – another custard, that has the sweet nutty taste of pecans whirled right in.
Here’s one of my all time favorites…Clap Your Hands Say Yeah with Mama Won’t You Keep Them Castles in the air Burning?
White bean tarragon pie
It’s handsome and delicious! This pie has a filling of white beans, mushrooms and tarragon, and an oatmeal-pecan crust. You’ll have to forgive my enthusiasm, because I wasn’t sure how it would work out, but it was really really tasty. A number of strong flavors combined perfectly, so that nothing seemed out of place or in your face. Tarragon is a bit of a prima donna herb – it can be a little too prominent. But its lovely hint-of-anise/hint-of-lemon flavor shined perfectly in this pie. The dough, with pecans and toasted oats, is not as hard to work with as it might sound, but it does lend itself to this simple & forgiving form. You just roll it out and then fold it up like an envelope. And it makes wonderful crackers!
Here’s Les McCann’s Oatmeal.