Merry Christmas from me a few days early. I’m giving away my favorite recipe from the Pic Niques chapter of my newly released cookbook, Sunday Best. I do so because I know the “most wonderful time of the year” is full of office parties, gift exchanges and special luncheons. My Smoked Gruyere Cheese Tart with Spinach and Bacon is the perfect dish for your afternoon party. It pairs well with a deep red French wine…which gives me an idea for a unique Xmas gift. A Francophile foodie basket for the Julia Child in your life!
Use your imagination to add to this basket with the Cabaret Sauvignon.
It needs additional goodies, like French sea salt, Herbs de Provence, Gruyere cheese, balsamic vinegar, and the indispensable cookbook that calls for these treats, SUNDAY BEST DISHES A COOKBOOK FOR PASSIONATE COOKS.
Add a fluted tart pan, and you are well on your way. In my book, I recommend the best and most time tested cooking tools, gadgets, and food stuffs on the market – the ones that have kept me eating well since I started in this business over 30 years ago. I can’t wait to sign your book! Cheers, and do let me know if you take this fabulous quiche to your next holiday party!
Smoked Gruyere Cheese Tart
with Spinach and Bacon
MAKES 6 TO 8 SERVINGS
1 (9-inch) prepared pie crust
½ pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely diced, about 1 cup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 pound fresh spinach leaves, about 4 cups (or substitute with 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained)
1 teaspoon dried Herbs of Provence
8 ounces smoked Gruyere cheese, grated, about 1 cup
4 large eggs
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 400°. Unroll the pie crust and press into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Pierce the bottom of the pie crust with a fork. Bake until the pie crust is golden, about 9 to 12 minutes.
Cook the bacon in a skillet, over medium high heat, until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off the bacon drippings.
Heat the olive oil and butter in the skillet, over medium high heat. Cook the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more. The diced onion should be golden and slightly syrupy. Transfer to a bowl. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with Herbs de Provence and set aside.
Carefully slide the baked tart shell onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle the bacon onto the bottom of the baked tart shell. Cover the bacon with grated cheese. Cover the cheese with the caramelized onion. Spread the spinach over the top. Whisk together the eggs and cream, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Carefully pour this mixture over the ingredients in the tart. Place the baking sheet with tart into the oven. Bake until the egg mixture puffs and is golden, about 30 minutes.
If not serving immediately, cool the tart to room temperature. Wrap the tart in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.