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Categories: Appetizers, Vegetarian

English pea and goat cheese tart

English pea and goat cheese tart
Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Ephemeral as the early spring that bestows them upon us, English peas arrive like this season's epiphany. They're only here for a few blissful weeks, and then, once the temperatures rise, they're gone. Serene in their emerald pods, the peas ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour, 10 minutes, plus 45 minutes chilling time for tart dough | Serves 8
Note: You will need a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan; the tart shell can be made ahead of time. You also will need a bowl of ice water to shock the peas.

Tart dough

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and cut into small chunks

Step 1In a food processor, blend the flour, salt, sugar and lemon zest until combined, then add the butter and pulse until it's the size of small peas. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and pulse until the dough just comes together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic film, and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Step 2Once it's chilled, take out the dough and roll it out to about a 12-inch circle. Gently fold the rolled dough into quarters and place it in the pan, with the point in the center, then carefully unfold. Fold the edges over and crimp, trimming any excess dough. Prick the bottom of the shell all over with a fork. Put the tart shell in the freezer for 30 minutes while you heat the oven to 425 degrees and make the filling.

Step 3Place the frozen tart shell in the oven and bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

Tart filling and assembly

  • 6 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons high-quality olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups shelled English peas

Step 1In a food processor, blend together the goat cheese, creme fraiche, pepper and olive oil. Add the fresh herbs and pulse briefly to combine. Reserve.

Step 2Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil with the sugar and salt. Blanch the peas for about 3 minutes, then shock them in a bowl of ice water. Drain and reserve.

Step 3When the tart shell has cooled, spread the cheese filling evenly over the surface, then cover the entire surface with a single layer of the blanched peas. Cut the tart into 8 slices and serve.

Each serving:
297 calories; 8 grams protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 22 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 44 mg. cholesterol; 123 mg. sodium.
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