Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rustic Sunflower Seed and Lime Pesto "Quiche" Tartlets with Roma Tomatoes and Black Olives

My BirthWeek has arrived at its triumphant end. I sit at my desk following a week of guiltless sin, and while I've been sober for nearly 48 hours, I've still yet to detox. Vegas had her rough, gritty way with me for four days straight [gay?]. Two showers, four Kombuchas and one juice detox later, I still reek of her pleasantries. But I digress...

I'm allowed only two days of recovery before the start of the 2009 L.A. Pride celebration begins. Whether I like it or not, I live about 1/16th of a mile from the heart of the celebration. I'm going to party in my Rainbow Thong and over sized aviators like there's no tomorrow. My refrigerator, typically full of a truckload's worth of produce, tofu, cooking wines and sauces, will be temporarily filled with good beer, Jack Daniels, mixers and The Joose. With San Francisco Pride in two short weeks, this might as well just be a BirthMonth.

To give ourselves a little healthy respite between all the celebration mayhem, Jane and I decided to allocate a portion of our Vegas winnings to purchase something "healthy". We went to Dicks, and we bought lots of balls. No, silly pervert. Dick's Sporting Goods. We each bought ourselves a tennis racket, some tennis balls and a basket ball. To further the sexual innuendos (or blatant comparisons), the company that manufactures my racket is named "Head". That's right. Dick's for balls and Head. Game on.

Growing up, I never was much for athletics. I was always a decent athlete...I just could never seem to keep myself in one piece. Being the good little lesbian that I am, I spent at least 8 years on the softball team. By the time I reached high school, I'd sustained one nose fracture and broken my foot twice. My high school authorities kindly suggested that perhaps Varsity athletics posed a threat to my overall health and the school insurance policy, and my dreams of Olympic glory and days of being surrounded by hot women in tight pants came to an abrupt end.

Well, I'm back in action. We're having a great time so far, but our "game" admittedly needs a little work. At the very least, perhaps I'll build some arm muscles so that my next pie crust-rolling experience is a little easier.

PS: There is an amazing Italian restaurant called Stratta in the Wynn Hotel that has a secret Vegan menu. You have to ask them for it.

Rustic Sunflower Seed and Lime Pesto "Quiche" Tartlets
with Roma Tomatoes and Black Olives

Chef's Note: You can also simplify this recipe by purchasing pre-made Vegan pie crusts, letting them thaw, then rolling out and molding to Tartlet pans.

Crust: Makes 3-4 Tartlets
  • 1 1/3 cups + 4 tablespoon Pastry or All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry EnerG Egg Replacer Powder
  • 2 cloves Garlic, pressed or minced
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • 8 TBSP cold Vegan Margarine, diced into cubes
  • 1/4 cup cold MimicCreme (or Coconut Milk)
Pulse Flour, Egg Replacer Powder, Salt, Garlic and Cayenne together in a food processor. Add the 8 TBSP of Vegan Margarine, and pulse about 10 times until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few bean-size chunks of Margarine still in it. Add the MimicCreme, and pulse 1 to 2 times more...being careful that the dough doesn't form a mass around the blade. If the dough seems dry, add 1 tsp at a time of more MimicCreme, pulsing briefly.

Remove the blade and bring the dough together by hand. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour. When your ready to make your Tartlets, roll out on a well-floured surface and follow the assembly directions below.

Sunflower Seed and Lime Pesto
  • 1/4 cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts
  • 4 oz Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 3 cloves fresh Garlic
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Bust out a food processor or blender, and throw in the Sunflower Seeds, Pine Nuts and Garlic. Let the food processor run for about 30 seconds to break everything up into smaller pieces. Add in the Basil, Lime Juice and some Salt and Pepper.

Turn the food processor back on, and slowly pour all of the Olive Oil down the shoot (or through the top of the blender) until the mixture is fully combined. Taste to see if more Salt and Pepper is needed.

For the final Quiche Tartlet...
  • 1 batch of the Pie Crust Recipe (above)
  • 2 cups Basic Scrambled "Eggs" Mix
  • 1/2 cup Sunflower Seed and Lime Pesto
  • 2-3 Roma Tomatos, Thinly Sliced
  • Black Olives, Sliced,
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Grease your Tartlet pans well.

Roll out the pie crust, then mold enough dough into each Tartlet pan so that it's about 1/4 inch thick on the bottom and sides. Pre-bake in the oven for about 12-13 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Combine the Basic Scrambled "Egg" Mix and the Pesto well.

Spoon about an 1/8 cup of the "Egg"/Pesto mix into the bottom of the cooled, pre-baked tart shells, and spread the mixture out evenly. Place a layer of sliced Romas and Black Olives. Spoon another 1/8 cup of the "Egg"/Pesto mix on top of the veggies, then add a second layer of Sliced Romas and Olives. Sprinkly the top layer of Tomatoes with a touch of Salt and Pepper.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until fully set and cooked through. Allow to cool to room temperature before removing from pans and serving.

Garnish with Fresh Basil, if desired.


iRaw said...

Your quiche tartlet looks wonderful! I love using nuts and seeds in my cooking.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE it! Esp the raw pie crust!

Jes said...

Hehe, balls and head! LA pride must kick Atlanta's--jealous! And oh, we had to postpone pride until October. I mean, it's sometimes warm in October, but really, aren't we all supposed to be mostly naked for the festivities??? Ridiculous town. Anyways, the tartlettes look so rad, loving the limey pesto!

quarrygirl said...

omg jenn this is the funniest shit i ever read. i can't stop laughing.

i can't believe what a huge month this is for you!!! OMG. no wonder you have been all over the place! bday, pride, then pride again? not to mention time to blog, audition, and REST...oh, and let's not forget EAT!!!

i can't wait to see your face...and hear all about vegas, namely this 'vegan' menu at the wynn. HOLLA.

thanks for the humorous writing, as always!

VeganCowGirl said...

Great post! Good luck with the tennis, and glad to hear you made it through your birthday week with little more than a hangover! the tartlet looks great!

Mihl said...

Now this is totally the kind of recipe I like! Bookmarked.

tiny myths said...

that's so funny that the google ad under the post is for tyson chicken strips...

Gina said...

Yum. Quiche is one of my favorite things, ever.

BTW, I was just reading your little profile blurb, and how it says you like to make people laugh, and just so you know, you almost always crack me up, haha.

Oh, and the freaking green bags are amazing. I feel like, as a Chemistry teacher, I should be able to understand how they work, but instead I choose to just bask in the cilantro that has now been in my fridge for almost a month.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale is during SF Pride! Come visit us!

the twins said...

that tart looks great, thanks for the recipe. and have fun at pride! =)

Health and fitness articles said...

Hey this is very innovative recipe. Something different. Would enjoy eating it.

Jenn Shagrin said...

Well, thank you!

I do my best :)