Garlic Scape Tartlets
The tart dough I used here was actually developed by my friend Scott Lefton, who showed me the recipe and encouraged me to go forth and play with it. First, I used it with brie and sauteed leeks for a variant of Bron‘s leek and brie tartlets. The flavors combined so well, a slow rolling flow of green and gold across the tongue, leeks and brie and dill and suddenly oh, yes, there’s that saffron, too, pulling it all together.
And then I finally found some garlic scapes at the farmer’s market. Like most spring vegetables, garlic scapes benefit from very minimal preparation. I’ll usually grill them, add them to any stir-fry, or just saute them briefly with butter and salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar at the end. If you’re really searching for good ways to work with garlic scapes, just cook them as you would asparagus or scallions, their repertoir is so wide. But this time, I wanted to see how they would work in place of the leeks for this tartlet.
Garlic scapes are less buttery, less rich than leeks, but they add an interesting texture and subtle flavor to the dish. I couldn’t say which version I prefer. I want to eat more of both. And even moreso, I want to keep playing with this tart dough!
Saffron Dill Tart Dough
2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp (loosely packed) saffron
2/3 cup shortening
2 tbsp sweet (unsalted) butter
(I used a total of 3/4 C butter instead, because I have an unnatural and immovable prejudice against shortening.)
Sift together all the dry ingredients. Cut the butter (or shortening and batter) in with a pastry blender until the consistency is homogenous. Sprinkle with 4-5 tbsp water and blend together just a moment longer. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour or so. It should still be rather crumbly before it is chilled; do not be afraid.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Butter/oil and flour your tartlet pans. Roll out the dough rather thin, maybe 1/8″ thick or so, and use it to line the prepared pans. Cover the dough with aluminum foil, pressing it in to fit inside the dough. Fill with pastry weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven. Take off the foil and weights, and fill instead with a layer of brie and sliced garlic scape. Return it to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or so. Eat. Enjoy. Serve at parties and bask in the applause.