Tofu Spinach Tart a La Argentine
While living in Buenos Aires I was always amazed by the beautiful tarts or “tartas” that you could buy in most restaurants and as quick to go meals on the cheap. I realized that it was just as quick and as inexpensive to make my own tarte and with a variety of vegetables. The most popular tartes are made with spinach or collard greens and they are traditionally made with eggs, dairy and breading. I replaced the last three ingredients at once with tofu and it holds the tarte together just as well without sacrificing taste. For the crust I have used a spelt flour and vegan crust that you can buy ready-made at the frozen section of your natural grocery store. Although spelt is not gluten-free, it is generally easily digestible by people with wheat allergies. Having said this, if you have massive intolerance to gluten and/or wheat or if you have Celiac, please avoid spelt altogether until you check with your doctor first. The good news is that you can still make this dish just the same without the crust by putting the mixture directly onto a lightly oiled pie dish.
Spinach Tarte A La Argentine
- 1 lbs of frozen spinach (thawed)
- 15 oz package of extra firm tofu (washed and patted dry)
- 1 large yellow sweet onion chopped into small pieces (if you can’t find a sweet onion then a regular yellow onion will do)
- 5 cloves of garlic chopped into small pieces
- 6 medium-sized artichoke hearts (canned is fine)
- 2 teaspoons of chopped thyme (or any herb that you like)
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of Earth Balance spread
- 1 lime
- salt and pepper to taste
Thaw pie crust and set aside. Read directions on cooking since ready-made pie crusts will usually require that you make fork marks in the dough before cooking. If you are not using a pie crust, lightly oil a 9 inch pie dish and set aside. In a food processor, puree tofu until creamy. It does not have to be perfectly smooth but rather a bit rougher in texture as this is a rustic tarte. Set aside. In medium deep pan and over medium heat, place olive oil, earth balance and onions. Cook onions until soft and translucent. Turn heat to low and add thyme, cumin and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until garlic is soft stirring often so the garlic doesn’t burn. Increase heat to medium, add spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Add tofu and mix well with veggie mixture cooking for another 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat off, turn oven on to pre-heat to 375 F and wait until mixture cools down for 10 minutes. With a large spoon or spatula, place mixture in pie crust or dish and even out the top with the spatula so that it’s evenly flat. Arrange artichoke hearts on top of tarte. Cook for 35 minutes in middle rack. You will notice that the spinach top is darker and the artichoke hearts a bit golden. Place on a rack and cool for 1 hour or so before serving. The pie will firm up as it cools and it will be easier to cut clean slices. Serve with slices of lime and perhaps a small salad. Serves 4 as a main dish.