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Savory Tarts & Pies

When we started doing brunch at Mandarava, I got all the looks. No eggs? No tofu? No mock fried chicken?
How to bring breakfast to the table? One of the first revelations was our herb laden, short crust rich savory tart,
pictured below.  Since then we developed a few variations that stand up to the first.
Tomato Pie is not pizza, but we think it deserves more attention. 

Tomato Tart

1 1/2 C chickpea & fava flour
1/2 C almond or walnut flour
1 t salt
1/4 C oil
1/4 C water
1 C sunflower seeds
1 C chickpeas (pre-cooked)
1/4 C water
1 large tomato
2 cloves garlic
2 t salt
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all crust ingredients and press into a pie plate or tart pan. Unlike a wheat and butter pastry, this one doesn’t mind being handled. Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to smooth out edges and fill in cracks. Bake for 15 minutes and set aside to cool.
For the filling, puree everything except the cherry tomatoes in a high powered blender. Pour the filling into the crust and arrange the cherry tomatoes cut side up. Bake until the filling has firmed up and turned golden, about 45 minutes.
If perfect slices are important to you, there’s a way. Chill the tart in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight. Portion the tart, cleaning the knife between each cut. You can then reheat pieces individually without losing their shape.
Serve with a salad of fresh bitter greens and tangy vinaigrette.

Tart and pie do the harvest as friends, dressed as they like. Tart puts fruit on display, holds her shape on a fork for each bite. Pie slumps in a bowl, mosaic of crust half seeped in stewed filling. Be easy she says, after all that. 

Green Tomato Pie

6 firm green tomatoes, sliced
1 C sugar (have you tried birch?)
1/4 C flour or starch
1 T apple cider vinegar
crust (repeat twice for top and bottom):
2 T shaved frozen vegan butter
8 T cubed chilled vegan butter
1 1/4 C flour
1 T sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 C ice water

Your own crust recipe, if tried and true, may well be as flaky with far less effort.
In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar and salt. Add the cubed fat and process into a paste, about 30 seconds. Gently break this mixture into 2 inch chunks and spread it around the machine. Dust with 1/2 C flour and pulse again, 4-5 times. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add frozen fat shavings and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with 2 T water, tossing lightly. Add the last 2 T water and press the dough together gently with a spatula. Wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours or overnight. Sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling. When you go to assemble the pie, be sure to reserve any extra liquid that may have come off the tomatoes. A lattice top allows moisture to leave the pie. If you’re not confident with that, make slits radiating out from the center. Bake until golden on top and bottom, about an hour.

Be with the sweet tart joy of summer and just let go.


All of a sudden she began to whistle. By all of a sudden
I mean that for more than thirty years she had not
whistled. It was thrilling. At first I wondered, who was
in the house, what stranger? I was upstairs reading, and
she was downstairs. As from the throat of a wild and
cheerful bird, not caught but visiting, the sounds war-
bled and slid and doubled back and larked and soared.

Finally I said, Is that you? Is that you whistling? Yes, she
said. I used to whistle, a long time ago. Now I see I can
still whistle. And cadence after cadence she strolled
through the house, whistling.

I know her so well, I think. I thought. Elbow and an-
kle. Mood and desire. Anguish and frolic. Anger too.
And the devotions. And for all that, do we even begin
to know each other? Who is this I’ve been living with
for thirty years?

This clear, dark, lovely whistler?

-excerpted from Our World

Mary Oliver

From Beacon Press, publishing house:
Mary Oliver, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, is one of the most celebrated poets in America. Her partner Molly Malone Cook, who died in 2005, was a photographer and pioneer gallery owner. Intertwining Oliver’s prose with Cook’s photographs, Our World is an intimate testament to their life together. The poet’s moving text captures not only the unique qualities of her partner’s work, but the very texture of their shared world.

photo credit Molly Malone Cook