Love Your Leftovers: Pesto and White Bean Tart
Summer means herbs, herbs mean basil, and basil means pesto.
I was so excited to see huge bunches of basil for $2 a pop at Haymarket on Saturday. Each bunch must have weighed a pound. Magnificent, fresh greenness! I couldn’t stop smelling it, which caused people to stop and stare.
I knew some of them must have understood, since no Boston police officer came to drag me away.
I had to make pesto. But if there is one rule about pesto making: always make more! I suggest tripling or quadrupling the recipe, because pesto is just so more-ish, and having leftovers is quintessential in the pesto experience. I kept dolloping it on every bite of last night’s chicken. And then on my salad for lunch today. And again when I got home with some tortilla chips. Good thing I thought ahead and put half the batch away in the fridge, safe from my spoon.
Leftover pesto deserves special treatment. I hate just wasting it on pasta. Pesto needs to stand out on its own; to be the star of a dish. And I got lucky: Z was working late and I had time to whip up a batch of rustic tart dough (though it really takes no time at all). Tarts are all the rage this summer, especially with the strawberries and rhubarbs of early June, and a savory tart for dinner with some fresh greens is as lovely as a warm day. Topped with succulent roasted tomatoes, goat cheese, and a creamy white bean puree, I just about died and went to heaven. Oh, and of course there was pesto. I’ll never forget the pesto.
Pesto and White Bean Tart (makes 2 tarts)
Double recipe of rustic tart dough
1 can white beans
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup pesto
10 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbled goats cheese
Olive oil, to serve
Prepare the rustic tart dough and let sit in the fridge for 20 minutes after it has been rolled out.
Preheat oven to 375*
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, spraying the sheet first with cooking spray to keep the paper down.
Rinse a can of white beans and mash them in a bowl with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and olive oil. Mash until fairly smooth.
Chop the cherry tomatoes into thirds so you have three round slices from each one.
Place the dough rounds onto the parchment papered baking sheet.
First, place half of the white bean mash on each dough round and spread into an even layer up until an inch and a half away from the edges of the dough.
Top that with 1/4 cup of pesto for each dough round, also spread in an even layer.
Top the pesto with 5 sliced cherry tomatoes and 1/4 cup goats cheese each.
Carefully fold the edges of the tart up around the fillings, crimping the edges as necessary to encase the circle.
Place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Serve with a simple side salad.
There is just a little bit of pesto left, which I will probably eat on toast for breakfast. I wish I had enough to make another one of these tarts. Maybe I’ll just eat it for dessert.