Make Ahead

Parmesan tart with Caesar salad topping

May 11, 2010
Author Notes

This recipe is inspired by seeing some photos of a savory tart topped with mixed greens and thinking, "gosh, I bet Caesar salad would be good on a tart!". And it is - it's quickly becoming a warm weather go to meal, in fact! The crust is like a big crouton around the outside, and the silky parmesan filling is a lovely contrast to the crisp salad. The dressing is a fairly standard rendition of a Caesar dressing, I think, except I use mayo instead of eggs (more because I love the tang of mayo than that I have a problem with undercooked eggs). When making this for myself I use greens because I don't love romaine lettuce, but I've called for romaine in the recipe to stay true to the Caesar salad name. —fiveandspice

  • Serves 3-4
Ingredients
  • tart crust and Parmesan custard filling
  • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water
  • 2/3 cup cream or half and half
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 small handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • a sprinling of salt and pepper
  • Caesar salad topping
  • 1 oil packed anchovy fillet, chopped and smashed
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh Parmesan
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • The juice from one half of a large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons good mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard (preferably Dijon)
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, ribs removed, chopped small
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. tart crust and Parmesan custard filling
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter pieces with a pastry cutter, or rub in butter with your fingers until it forms a crumbly mixture (this can also be done in a food processor, if you’re lucky enough to have one!).
  3. Add in just enough water so that the mixture comes together and you can form it into a ball. Pat the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
  4. On a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of wax paper (my preferred method, though it’s a little wasteful), roll out the dough to fit a 9 inch tart pan, or rectangular tart pan (it can also go into a loaf pan, I discovered). Grease your pan and transfer the tart dough into it, trimming the edges.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the pan on a baking sheet, line the dough with tinfoil/parchment paper and weight it with dried beans. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove the foil and beans.
  6. Whisk together the remaining tart ingredients, except the tomatoes, and pour into the shell. Sprinkle the tomatoes on top. Bake until the filling is set, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then carefully remove from pan. And top with Caesar salad.
  1. Caesar salad topping
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the smashed anchovy through the Worcestershire sauce. The pour the olive oil in a stream into the bowl, whisking to incorporate.
  3. In a salad bowl, toss as much of the dressing as suites your taste with the chopped romaine. Pile the lettuce onto the Parmesan tart (not all of the greens may fit, you can serve the rest on the side). Carefully slice and serve with a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper.
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Review
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.