It started to snow on Monday. Big, fluffy flakes, so that now Weimar is under a slightly light white blanket. But it’s not going to stay for too long. The melt has already started, creating wet slushy roads and against a dull, grey backdrop the trees have lost the last of their colorful leaves.
This year I seem to be left in wonderment at how fast the seasons are transcending into each other, without much warning. Winter is really not me. Not my style, not my colors, not my temperatures and not my mood.
Each time it is so difficult to swap the lovely high heeled peep toes for the more functional thick boots, the tanks tops for the thick turtlenecks, the carefree picnics in the park, the long sultry warm evenings on the terrace for wind, cold and over heated rooms.
Autumn usually helps me ease into the frame of mind for the forthcoming dull and cold winter days, but this year I feel like I’ve been shortchanged. Autumn came and went far too quickly and after the first snow this week I find myself in a state of unease! And although I’ve been seeing Christmas decorations and goodies in the stores since late summer, my mind has successfully managed to block out all notions of the merry season till this weekend when I was strolling the streets of Munich.
Tis’ the season to be merry indeed. At least in Bavaria! The merry Bavarians really are boisterous revelers and know how to entertain. The several Brauhäuser were packed with people enjoying their Weißbier and rich dishes like roasted pork marinated in dark beer, or a incredibly fluffy Kaiserschmarrn with a sweet apple sauce or a fantastic Käsespätzle with roasted onions and bacon or an extraordinary 3 course meal with scallops, roasted duck, passionfruit sorbet and crème brulee - something I will have to describe in a whole different post.
Yes – I ate all that this weekend! I think I was taking in 2000 calories per meal! No surprise I’ve been feeling extremely bloated all week!
Of course we did a lot of hard work throughout the weekend. It was an amazingly creative, inspiring, high powered and also very exhausting weekend. But so satisfying. Meeting likeminded people even though they come from very different fields, working on one project and harmonizing like we were always meant to be, probably does not happen very often. So when it does its something to really take notice of and appreciate. I came away from Munich feeling like I had made a few new friends. I am looking forward to the next session already.
These tarts are just perfect – in two ways. For one, they will bring a colorful pizzazz into the colorless, gloomy winter days and for another their lightness will be appreciated after a weekend of over-indulgence. Yes folks – Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away and after the weekend come back here and give me a bit of thanks for these lovely tarts.
They work perfectly with an array of simple roasted vegetables, so whatever leftovers you’ll have this is a great and creative way to use them up. Flakey puff pastry is spread with an wonderfully aromatic and intense tapenade made with black olives, anchovies and olive oil, then layered with a colorful combination of lightly roasted pumpkin, aubergine, zucchini slices and fresh tomatoes. Finally, delicious, melted buffalo mozzarella rounds up the flavor ecstasy of these tarts!
Roasted Pumpkin Aubergine Zucchini Tapenade Tarts with Buffalo MozzarellaPrintable version of recipe here
1 portion homemade puff pastry
300g black olive tapenade
1 zucchini, sliced
1/2 butternut squash, thinly sliced
1 small aubergine, sliced
2-3 large tomatoes, sliced
200g buffalo mozzarella, sliced
couple of glugs of olive oil
sea salt and crushed pepper
- Preheat the oven to approx. 180 degrees C.
- Toss zucchini, butternut squash, aubergine slices in a large bowl and mix with the herbs and a few glugs of olive oil. Spread out on a baking tray and roast the vegetables lightly for about 10 minutes. They should not be soft and just lightly roasted to allow the flavors to come together and intermingle.
- Brush 6 tart forms with some olive oil and line each with the puff pastry dough. Spread the each tart with the tapenade and then layer roasted vegetables over the tapenade. Lay out the fresh slices of tomato in between the roasted vegetables and finally place a few of the buffalo mozzarella slices.
- Bake the tarts in the oven for approx. 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is puffy and light golden. Remove and sprinkle with coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
The Food Guide Tips:
- Make your own homemade puff pastry
- Selecting and storing tomatoes
- Healthy zucchini
I find a need to color up my life when the days are dull and extracted of all color. I am sure you do too. Luckily I am able to do that in my kitchen, using bright shades and vivid hues of the produce available in the markets. These tarts brightened up the dinner table and provided a wonderful burst of exciting flavors. Served with a lovely green salad and a light Dijon mustard and honey vinaigrette this is the perfect light meal after the big indulgence!
I’m off to London on Friday for a weekend of work, fun and more fun! I’ll be getting together with Jeanne and Jamie, meeting up with Hilda, Julia, Sig, Sarah, Elisavet, Catty, Anne just to name a few of our massive brunch party on Saturday. I can hardly wait and we have this weekend planned since August. Jamie, Jeanne and I will be working on a few From Plate to Page topics and maybe even concocting ideas for our next project together. One thing is for sure we’ve swiped sleep from our weekend plans!! We’ll be tweeting for sure and posting pictures on Facebook so keep an eye out for that.
Hope you all have an awesome Thanksgiving weekend, those who are celebrating. Everyone else happy weekend and enjoy the time with family and friends. I’ll catch you all next week. Be good!
From Plate to Page Update
But you can now register for the second From Plate to Page Workshop, which is scheduled for Autumn 2011 in Italy.
The waiting list is open for the second P2P Workshop and you can sign up now.
You might like these tart ideas from WFLH:
|Kale Mushroom and Goat Cheese Buckwheat Tart||Caramelized Potato Leek and Brie Quiche||Tarte Flambée with Tomatoes and Creamy Spinach|
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