What ever you might think, strawberries and spinach do go very well together . Either on a tart or a salad, the strawberries are refreshing and tangy and the spinach let’s them shine and be the star of the dish. And any way to incorporate leafy vegetables in your daily diet is a great dish in my book.
As a child, my mum used to take me to the market every spring and beginning of the summer to buy strawberries. We would eat them almost everyday until the end of the season. We used to check every stand for the prettiest, most riped and sweetest fruits . You could barely see my head over the stand. And as the seller prepared the strawberries, I used to stretch my hand and grab one hoping I wouldn’t get noticed . Probably the intoxicating smell of the fruits was clouding my small mind and could not resists the temptation . Though I was thought better.
Though there are very delicious strawberries in Poland, I do miss the sugary taste of Romanian strawberries. They just have that extra level of sweetness and ripeness. Likewise, I love the huge supply of blueberries and raspberries and blackberries available here . Berries are quite expensive and in lower amounts in Romania, due to the hotter climate.
Strawberries and spinach
Nevertheless, I will take any opportunity I get to eat strawberries while in season. As a result, I try to mix it up from time to time and use them in different ways. At the same time, I enjoy contradicting flavors or ingredients, so I decided to mix some savory tastes with sweet aromas. So strawberries and spinach, caramelized onions and goat cheese. The spreadable goat cheese is not too salty, it just adds a nice kick to the overall taste. Trust me on this one, it’s an amazingly tasty tart.
1/2 cup (120 ml) balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 and 1/4 cups (160 grams) flour, sifted
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt
140 grams cold butter, cut in cubes, divided
1 red onion
20 grams butter
100 gr fresh spinach
260 grams coat cheese, spreadable or roll
300 gr strawberries
Yields 9 tarts, tart form 9 cm diameter
- Put the balsamic vinegar and the sugar in a saucepan on medium heat. Let it shimmer for about 12 minutes until it turns into a thick syrup. You can test it by taking a teaspoon of the syrup and letting it cool on a plate. If it’s still runny, let is shimmer for a few more minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
- In the meantime, prepare the pastry. Mix the flour with the sugar and salt. Add 120 grams of the butter and using your fingers rub the butter in the flour or use a food processor until it has the texture of wet sand. Add 2 tablespoons of cold water, mix it and shape the pastry in a dough. Dust a working surface with flour and spread the dough as thin as possible. Cut circles with a glass or cookie cutter. I also spread a bit each pastry circle so I can make them thinner. Grease the tart forms with the rest of the butter, line them with the pastry and poke small holes with a fork. Bake them at 180 degrees Celsius for about 15-20 minutes until golden-brown.
- Finely slice the red onion and saute it the butter, on low heat, for about 7 minutes. It will turn soft and turn into a golden – caramel color. Add the fresh spinach and cook it for about 3 minutes, mixing occasionally.
- As soon as the tarts cooled down, cover them with a layer of goat cheese, a good amount of onion and spinach and top with strawberry slices. Finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
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