Kale and Kumquat Tarts with a Pancetta Streusel in a Toasted Pumpkin Seed Crust

March 10, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes 6 tartletss (5" tarts)
Author Notes

I love kale. I love it baked into chips, massaged into a tender salad, sauteed with garlic, and thrown into a cannellini bean soup. It's an amazingly healthy green, packed full of vitamins and minerals. But one of the things I recently learned was that combining kale (and many other greens) with citrus makes the iron in the greens more available to our bodies. So now when I make kale I try to always add some kind of citrus. Since kumquats have been showing up in our stores over the last couple weeks, they've been my new citrus of choice. If you haven't tried them, you'll be surprised by the sweetness of the skin. In fact if you don't eat the skin, the fruit will be way too sour to really enjoy eating on it's own. For this recipe, I combined a number of my favorite kale-pals. I tossed a bunch of pumpkin seeds in olive oil, smokey Hungarian paprika and cayenne pepper, toasted them in a dry pan, ground them up and added them to the crust. The filling is a combination of kale, ricotta cheese, pecorino, eggs and kumquats. And the topping is a streusel made of fried pancetta, fresh bread crumbs and pecorino cheese. Lots of steps here, I'll admit - and several that can be done ahead of time, but well worth it. Even my husband, who is beyond tired of kale for dinner these days, asked for seconds. —TheWimpyVegetarian

What You'll Need
  • Pumpkin Seed Crust
  • 1 1/2 ounces pumpkin seeds toasted in olive oil, salt, Hungarian paprika, and cayenne powder
  • 6 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 5 ounces cold butter, cut into 1/4" slices
  • 1 ounce Pecorino cheese, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons ice cold water
  • Kale and Kumquat Filling with Pancetta Streusel
  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale, central tough stem removed
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced kumquats, seeds removed
  • 2 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, well drained
  • 2 ounces Pecorino cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons coarse toasted breadcrumbs, preferably homemade
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon toasted spicy pumpkin seeds (see above recipe in the crust recipe)
  • lemon zest from 1 lemon
  1. Pumpkin Seed Crust
  2. For a healthy snack to have hanging around the house, I regularly toss 1 cup of pumpkin seeds with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper and toast them in a dry pan. I toss them onto salads, pasta and just eat them on their own. Take 1 1/2 ounces of them and grind it up in a food processor until fairly fine (it's ok if they're a little coarse).
  3. Add the flour and salt to the ground up pumpkin seeds and process to evenly mix. Add the cold butter all at once and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the egg yolk and water and pulse until the mixture just holds together when you pinch it (about 10-15 pulses).
  4. Place on a piece of wax paper and mold into a disk using your fingertips. Wrap it up and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out the dough to 1/8" thinkness on a lightly floured work surface. Line the tartlet molds, removing any excess dough that reaches above the side of the molds. Set aside while you make the filling.
  1. Kale and Kumquat Filling with Pancetta Streusel
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Once the tough stems of the kale leaves are removed, layer the leaves on top of each other and slice horizontally into 1 - 2 inch slices. Add to the pot of boiling water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, squeeze all the water out of the kale using a towel and place in a bowl with the kumquats. Mix well.
  3. Saute the pancetta until crispy. Remove and set aside for the Streusel Topping. Add the onion, shallot, salt, Hungarian paprika and cayenne pepper to the pan. Add a little olive oil if there isn't enough fat from the pancetta. Saute until just softened, about 4-5 minutes. Mix into the kale - kumquat mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta and Pecorino cheeses and the eggs. When the kale mixture has cooled, add the cheese and egg mixture to it. Mix well and pour into the tart shells.
  5. Combine the pancetta, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and lemon zest to form a streusel-like topping and add to the tops of the tarts.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the centers of the tarts are set. Let cool in the tart pan for 15 minutes before serving.
  7. Enjoy!!!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TiggyBee
  • Burnt Offerings
    Burnt Offerings
  • hardlikearmour
  • Lizthechef
  • EmilyC

16 Reviews

TiggyBee March 11, 2011
This is really nice! I'm off in search of the quats. Haven't seen them around here recently...Not even at my co-op! : (
TheWimpyVegetarian March 11, 2011
Thanks TiggyBee!! If you can't find any, you can use clementines or small tangerines. I would peel them, slice them and quarter them. It would still add some citrus to the dish, but may have more of a tendency to fall apart with out the peel holding them in place. So I would add them last and do a gentle folding in so you don't break them apart. That way, you can still get a burst of citrus in a bite of it along with the kale, egg, ricotta mixture. Hope you like it! I'd love to hear your thoughts!!
Burnt O. March 11, 2011
Very, very creative - well done!
TheWimpyVegetarian March 11, 2011
Thanks so much Burnt Offerings!! I hope you try it - they're soooo good.
hardlikearmour March 10, 2011
Wow, this is really innovative! Sounds delish, too. Nicely done, ChezSuzanne!
TheWimpyVegetarian March 11, 2011
Thanks so much HLA! Sadly, I had the last one for dinner tonight. We're heading to the mountains next weekend for a house party with my husband's step-daughter and her family who will be driving down from Portland. We can't wait, and I'm thinking this will be on the menu one of the nights as one big tart. Comfort food with a twist.
Lizthechef March 10, 2011
This is wonderful, Susan, both your recipe and the photo. I grew up thinking kumquats were for a garnish only, so this is very exciting!
TheWimpyVegetarian March 11, 2011
Thanks so much, Liz! I'm so excited to see kumquats in the market now. I've been looking and looking and they finally showed up last Friday. I bought a whole bunch and am using them in all kinds of combinations with greens, or just slicing and eating.
EmilyC March 10, 2011
Looks delicious -- very clever too!
TheWimpyVegetarian March 10, 2011
Thanks EmilyC! The kumquats really lighten the flavors of the filling but the streusel is so good I could just eat it on its own! I hope you try it.
fiveandspice March 10, 2011
Never would have thought to do kale with kumquats. What a cool idea! It sounds delicious!
TheWimpyVegetarian March 10, 2011
Thanks so much fiveandspice! I started slicing them and adding them to my kale salads and just loved the combination - which is what gave me the idea to do it in a tart form. I wasn't sure exactly how it would work, so I only make little tartlets. Next time, I'm making a single large tart. If you make this, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
singing_baker March 10, 2011
Wow so different and interesting! This recipe really stands out, I was just thinking that no one has used kumquats yet. good luck!
TheWimpyVegetarian March 10, 2011
Thanks so much singing_baker! I hope you try it! They were sooo good for dinner last night.
Midge March 10, 2011
I'm so intrigued by the kale/ citrus combo. This sounds fabulous!
TheWimpyVegetarian March 10, 2011
Thanks Midge! Once I learned the extra health benefits (1+1=3), I've been combining them a lot. But my favorite combo is kumquats in kale salads with honey / lemon dressing.