Cornmeal tart

The past few weeks have been a world wind of activity which have resulted in me neglecting my poor blog.  I’ve been creating/making/baking behind the scenes and hope to share some recipes with you in the next few days and weeks to come.

I was in LA for some time in December, but then returned back to Canada to spend the winter break attending the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Conference and visiting family and friends. My family and I usually attend the conference to listen to Islamic scholars from around the world speak on a variety of topics and gain what you would call some “spiritual food” for the soul. This conference was especially uplifting because it occurred around the 1 year mark of my father’s passing. The past few years have been challenging for me and I finally feel that I have gained insight into the challenges and am now at peace in my life. Attending these sorts of conferences and lectures have made this possible for me.

One of the promises I made to myself after my dad passed away was to try to stick to a healthy lifestyle.  I increased my level of physical activity from 3 days to 6 days a week and cut out a lot of the high fat, high carb foods that I ate.  It was at that point that I started this blog with the hopes of tracking the healthier foods that I made and sharing it with others.  Here is a recipe that I think fits the bill.

This recipe comes from the Post Science website under their ThinkFood cookbook project. This is the first time I’ve ever used cornmeal. At first I was a bit apprehensive because I wasn’t sure if I would like the flavour, but I found it to be neutral in taste and a great backdrop to other flavours. 

Caramelized Onion and Spinach Cornmeal Tart

Crust
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 tsp fine-grain sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Filling
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
6 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
1/3 cup 1 % milk
red chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, cayenne pepper and salt together. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while mixing with a fork.  Slowly add in the 1/2 cup of cold water, stirring continuously until absorbed. With your hands, work the dough until it comes together in a ball. Dust a surface with cornmeal and place the ball of dough onto it and roll out into a large circle, large enough to line a 9″ tart pan. Press the dough into the pan and remove the dough from the edges.  Put the tart shell on a baking sheet and refrigerate while the filling is prepared.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook the onions until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and chopped spinach leaves. Cook down the spinach and add the red chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
In a food processor, mix together the cream cheese, eggs and milk. 

Spread the onion-spinach mixture over the bottom of the tart and pour the milk and cream cheese mixture on top. Sprinkle the top of the tart with red  chili flakes.  Bake until the egg is set and the top is a light golden brown colour. Remove from heat and let the tart set for 5-10 minutes before serving.


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