My aunt has a small farm in Olympia, Washington called Flying Coyote Farm. It specializes in very large vegetables, Jacob Sheep and garlic of various heirloom varieties originating from China, Russia, and the United States.
Every year, to get the garlic harvest ready for market, and for those of us who love garlic, a "garlic party" is held involving much eating of the garlic, merriment and conversation around tables as garlic bulbs are brushed, trimmed, handled and sorted.
This was the first I could make in a number of years as my annual trip to Burning Man usually conflicts. So I brought a carload of friends to enjoy the sunny farm day with me.
This is a pile of garlic. We cleaned that. The lucky garlic party goers get to take home seconds at the end of the day as well as other giant vegetables from the garden. My aunt Georgia said as we were wrenching a cabbage the size of a small dog from her cabbage patch "I like to grow big vegetables and to give them to people."
This year due to the success of my status as food blogger, as I ventured inside for a little snack I found myself in the process of making a garlic tart. What is in a garlic tart? A lot of garlic and, it appears, goat cheese.
The tart is not for the faint of heart. Very rich, but quite yummy if you are into puff pastry carmelized onions and a slight hint of balsamic vinegar, and of course, garlic.
A hungry crowd ate it up post BBQ feast as dessert.
Sophie, the neighbor dog, approved. If you have a love of garlic and a bunch of people to share a small tart with, you too should make a garlic tart. Here is the recipe.
Carmelized Garlic Tart
9 oz puff pastry or a 9 inch pie shell (frozen or homemade – I used frozen puff pastry)
20 to 25 whole cloves of garlic or roughly 3 entire bulbs of garlic (depending of course on the variety of garlic)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 Tsp sugar
1 Tsp sea salt
1 Tsp fresh ground black pepper
4.5 oz of chevre (goat cheese)
4.5 oz of goat gouda (or any other hard mature goat cheese)
6 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream
6 1/2 Tbsp creme fraiche
If using puff pastry follow the directions of the frozen packaging (or make from scratch if you have the pastry skills). Do not to forget to use a weight to keep the pastry down when you prebake it. Do this at least 20 minutes before you start the tart insides and make sure the pastry is thawed (if you are using frozen).
Put the garlic cloves in a saucepan and cover them with water – bring everything to a boil. Simmer the garlic cloves in the boiling water for 3 minutes.
Drain the water from the garlic, dry the sauce pan, then return the garlic to the pan and add the olive oil. (Water and oil bubble and spit causing burns so be careful). Fry the garlic with medium to high heat for at least 2 minutes.
Add the balsamic vinegar and 1 cup water then bring to a boil and let boil for at least 10 minutes. Then add the sugar, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer on medium until most of the liquid evaporates and the garlic cloves look carmelized with a darkish syrupy texture.
Now assemble the tart. Break both of the goat cheeses into pieces and scatter in the tart shell. With a spoon take the garlic balsamic mixture and spoon evenly over the cheese.
In a bowl whisk together the eggs, creme fraiche, a pinch of salt and black pepper. Pour this over the ingredients in the tart shell making sure you can still see the garlic and cheese (if you have extra liquid discard).
Bake the tart at 325 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes – roughly until the tart is set and golden brown.
Let cool for a little bit, cut and serve warm. Enjoy!