So, I've been really having a great time with Nick Malgieri's book: "The Moderm Baker". I have been drooling over all his beautiful and really interesting recipes for both classic favorites and some obscure finds. I have been very interested in his olive oil pie crust and wanted to use one of his recipes that called for it. So, when I found the goat cheese and roasted red pepper recipe, I knew I had to try it! Not only was this dish divine, It was a marvelous light dinner that tasted really "special". Don't let the olive oil crust intimidate you-- it's really an easy dough to put together.

Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Tart

Adapted from "The Modern Baker," by Nick Malgieri
Makes one 10- or 11-inch tart (about 8 generous servings)
  • 4 medium red, yellow and/or orange bell peppers (about 2 pounds)
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium clove garlic, cut into very thin slices
  • Olive Oil Dough for a 10- to 11-inch single crust (recipe follows)
  • 10 ounces mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet, crumbled, at room temperature
  • 6 large eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
To roast the peppers, position an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler element and preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place the peppers on their sides on the lined baking sheet. Broil until their skins are charred on top, then use tongs to turn each pepper onto a second side. Repeat until the peppers are evenly charred on all sides and have collapsed. (Alternatively, use an outdoor gas grill set on medium and char the peppers right on the grill.)
Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. The peppers will steam as they begin to cool, and the skins will loosen on their own. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, place them in a colander and stem, peel and seed them. (Do not peel the peppers under running water or much of their flavor will be lost.) Return the peppers to the bowl as they are cleaned, and continue until all the peppers have been cleaned and seeded.
Place a layer of peppers in a medium shallow bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and drizzle on a scant amount of olive oil. Scatter a few of the garlic slices over the peppers. Repeat until you have layered all the peppers with the seasonings. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days. If you make the peppers more than a day before baking the tart, remove the garlic no more than 24 hours after adding it.
Lightly flour a work surface. If using a rectangular tart pan, press the Olive Oil Dough into a large square, turning it 90 degrees between presses. Roll out the dough on the floured surface, rolling away from you, until the dough is large enough to cover the tart pan bottom and come up the sides. (Add a bit of flour to the work surface as needed to keep the dough from sticking as you work.) Use the rolling pin to sever the dough at the pan's edge, then use your thumb and forefinger to press in and down at the same time to form the top edge of the tart crust.
When ready to bake, set an oven rack on the lowest level of the oven; preheat to 375 degrees.
Sprinkle the unbaked tart crust with half of the goat cheese, then cover the cheese with a layer of the marinated peppers, overlapping them slightly if necessary to make them fit (make sure the garlic has been discarded). Repeat with the remaining cheese and peppers, ending with peppers on top.
Whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper to taste and the parsley in a large measuring cup with a spout; slowly and carefully pour the mixture into the crust, distributing it evenly.
Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, until the filling has set and has nice color and the crust is baked through. Transfer the tart pan to a wire rack to cool.

Olive-Oil Dough
Makes enough dough for a 10- or 11-inch single-crust pie or tart
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons water
Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse several times to mix well.
Add the oil, egg, egg yolk and water. Pulse 4 or 5 times, then turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and form it into a 1/2-inch-thick disk. (Overmixing may cause the oil to separate from the dough, making the dough hard to handle later on.)
Use immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to several days.
2008 Jean-Claude Debeaune Les Galopières Pouilly-Fuisse
Pouilly-Fuissé is one of the 5 communal appellation of the Mâconnais and it is considered the best. Its wines are made of 100% Chardonnay and they are normally aged in stainless steel tanks. However some producer choose to age a small quantity of the wine in oak barrel.
I choose this wine because the acidity will pair with the goat cheese and the smooth texture with the eggs. 

Tasting notes:
Light golden color. The nose is amazingly aromatic and one can detect ripe apple and white peaches just while pouring it into the glass. A swirl reveals notes of wet stones and white flowers. On the palate it is creamy and medium bodied. There is a lot of lemon, and its high acidity probably highlights this element. Apple and roasted almond provide a good support. With the increase of the temperature the nose becomes more aromatic, and I can't quit sticking my nose into the glass. The finish is lingering and carries a nice lemon aftertaste, but it is ruined by an unpleasant heat (retail $19.99 - AVIN0552706927766)

I'll admit, I have never been one to brag about having a green thumb. In fact, I was beginning to think that I was cursed to having a black thumb, considering all these years of failed attempts at trying to grow vegetables on my balcony. It seemed every year for the past four years had some kind of unusual weather pattern for our area. We had bouts of uncharacteristically hot months which killed all my veggies the first and second year I tried to garden(I think they boiled to death in their little pots). The following years they drowned to death from the record breaking high rainfalls, and finally, this year is different. We actually have tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow crookneck squash, and maybe we'll even get a bell pepper. The lettuce did pretty well and I knew that it would not last long in our planting zone, and as soon as they grew enough, we harvested and made a salad. So, it's with great relief that I can say that "I grew that" proudly this year, it and seems to have ended the "curse"(I hope). And believe me, it's true that food taste even better when you grow it yourself.

Strawberry Mesclun salad with Avocado and Walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1/4 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado- peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Place the sugar, oil, salt, and vinegar in a jar with a lid. Seal jar, and shake vigorously to mix.
  2. In a large bowl, mix salad greens, strawberries, avocado, and onion. To serve, toss with dressing and sprinkle with walnuts.
Serves 4-6
2008 Beso de Vino Macabeo
Macabeo is a Spanish white grape that is mostly blended with Xarel-lo and Parrellada for producing the sparkling Cava. In Rioja it is known as Viura and it is the main grape of their nicely aromatic whites, but in the regions western of Barcelona it is labeled as Macabeo (or Macabeu in Catalan) and it produces wines that are low in acidity and made for early consumption.
Tasting notes:
White flowers, citrus, mineral notes and faint white peaches open the nose of this fresh wine. On the palate it is silky with flavors of almond, lemon and a subtle fruitiness. It is low in acidity and it has some white pepper on the finish (retail $10.99 - AVIN5843151840492).