“MY GARDEN IS MY MOST BEAUTIFUL MASTERPIECE.” Claude Monet
I love creating vegetarian meals. They sure do make the most colorful masterpieces! When I moved to my home 18 years ago, I was excited to have several areas of my yard that I could devote to gardening. Unfortunately now, so many trees on the perimeter of my property have grown so much, that my yard is now too shady for a proper garden. And I’ve resorted to planting a few peppers and cucumbers. My deck is the home of my many pots of herbs and my Meyer lemon tree! Fortunately, I have a wonderful farm market nearby. And with the exception of the black beans, all of the ingredients for this tart came from local sources.
Not only is this black bean tart vivid in color, but it is bright and bold in flavor as well. A light black bean puree, sweet corn and red bell peppers, spicy jalapenos, mild scallions and the kick of cilantro are bound by melted Monterey Jack cheese. All of this nestled on top of a flaky crust made fabulous by the warm spices of chili powder, cumin and paprika! And to top it all off. . . . .
. . . . . a cool and tangy lime sour cream!
This beautiful vegetable tart is so perfect for an end of summer or beginning of fall meal. It is nice right out of the oven, and even better when served at room temperature. And that chili crust is without a doubt, the best part! I’m already thinking of ways to use it in other savory tarts!
- 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 stick of cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 Tablespoons of ice water
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Position a rack in the center of your oven.
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, spices and salt until they are well combined well. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a course meal. Add the ice water and pulse until the mixture forms a dough. Press the dough evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Chill the dough for at least 15 minutes. Line the crust with foil and fill with pie weights, beans or rice. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes or until the edge is set. Carefully remove the foil and weights and bake the crust until it is golden, and additional 10 minutes. Cool the crust in the pan on a wire rack.
FOR THE BLACK BEAN FILLING:
- 3 cups of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 Tablespoons of sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 4 ears of fresh corn (10 ounces if using frozen)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 fresh jalapeno chiles, seeded and finely chopped
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 cups of coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese
In your food processor, puree 1 cup of black beans with the 2 Tablespoons of sour cream. Season with salt and pepper and puree until smooth.
Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet until hot but not smoking. Saute the corn with salt and pepper to taste, about 3 minutes. Cool the corn. In a large bowl, stir together the corn, remaining whole black beans, bell pepper, jalapenos, scallions, cilantro and cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
Spread the bean puree evenly over the bottom of the crust and mound the corn and bean mixture on top, gently pressing the mixture down. Bake the tart in the middle rack of a 350° oven for about 20 minutes and until the cheese is melted. Cool the tart in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the rim of the pan and serve the tart warm or at room temperature with the lime sour cream.
LIME SOUR CREAM:
- 8 ounces of sour cream
- the juice and zest of 1 lime
Whisk the sour cream, lime juice and zest together until combined. Chill until ready to serve.
The crust may be made a day in advance and covered loosely at room temperature. The sour cream may also be made a day in advance and kept chilled.
This recipe was adapted from a book called Gourmet’s Parties (circa 1997) that I found at the thrift store for 1 dollar!