Sausage and Kale Dinner Tart

Guys, I saw this recipe and practically fell in love. Like I normally do when I see a hot cup of coffee in an adorable old mug. Not a new mug, but an old mug.

It is simple and a kind of a bit rustic. Kale makes me feel rustic, except I guess in this kale caesar salad. I think people that say they don't like kale are the same people that say they dislike brussel sprouts or asparagus. You can say you don't like these things, but please tell me you have tried them at least 5 different ways. If you need 5 ways, let me know.

I get pretty excited when I'm picking recipes for Downton Abbey dinners. This year for Christmas my family actually gave me a cookbook just for this events. I'm not quite sure what a "dinner tart" is but I don't know that Ms. Pattmore made them in the early 20th century. And if she did, she most certainly didn't have a food processor to quickly whip up the crust - which by the way might be the best crust I've ever mad. It was perfect.


There are a few great things about this "dinner tart":
EASY. Yes, I did make my own shell but you don't have to by any means. Just buy one of those freezer crusts and you'll be fine. After the crust, it's just sautéing a handful of things that you think are yummy....  and then a quick pass through the oven.
CUSTOMIZABLE. Like I just said, you use what you want. I think the sausage and kale make a great combo but I think this would also be amazing with like roasted red peppers, goat cheese, and make spinach?
FILLING. No, not the sausage again ... more your stomach. While this doesn't look like much, it will keep your hungry tummy content. If I was making this more of an event, I'd probably serve this along with a bit of a side salad dressed in champagne vinaigrette.

That being said, here's how it all goes down.

Making the shell
(Step 1) In the food processor, mix the flour with the salt.
(Step 2) Add in the butter slowly while the food processor works. The goal is to get the mixture to look a bit like coarse meal but with some of the butter pieces the size of lima beans. I think my mixture had all universally small pieces (i.e. no lima bean sizes) but it truly worked out great.
(Step 3) Drizzle the water in while the processor runs (think like you are making pesto) until a dough forms. Be careful not to make it too wet ... but if you do I think you can recover (like I did) by adding a smidge of flour during the knead.
(Step 4) Gather up the dough and knead it 2 or 3 times. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 
(Step 5) Roll out your dough to a pie crust thickness (1/4 inch) and gently press into the tart pan.
(Step 6) Now it's time to put  this gem in the oven for a bit. But first... you need to poke the dough all over with a fork a bunch. Then, cover the shell with parchment and fill with pie weights. Shocker, I don't have pie weights (or beans)... so I just hoped for the best and it worked out. The crust inflated just a smidge but I just pressed it back down with my own two hands. No biggie.
(Step 7) Heat oven to 400 degrees and bake the tart shell (with pie weights) for 20 minutes. Then remove parchment and weights and bake an additional 5 minutes until the crust begins to brown.
Remove from oven and set aside on cooling rack.

Inside Goodness & The Rest
(Step 1) Heat oil and butter in pan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until onions are soft and light brown. Season with salt and pepper. Remove onions from pan and set aside.
(Step 2) Increase heat to medium and add sausage to pan. Brown sausage and break into small pieces. Remove sausage from pan and set aside. My sausage didn't give off any grease/oil but if your's did drain all but 1 Tablespoon from pan.

(Step 3) Add kale to pan. Pour white wine over kale. Yes, wine. Scrape any bits from the pan and cover. Cook 3-5 minutes, until kale is wilted. Season with salt and pepper. If kale is still very wet, cook uncovered for a minute or two. The overall mixture should be fairly dry. Remove kale to a large bowl.
Toss cooked kale with cooked sausage and onions. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

(Step 4) Toss mixture with basil, egg, and ricotta. Season with salt and pepper. Note: I did kind of feel like I wanted more of the ricotta mixture but I think the point is that this isn't a quiche or bread pudding, the egg/ricotta is just helper glue holding things together a bit. Did that make sense? Maybe not.

(Step 5) Spoon sausage and kale mixture into cooked tart shell. I recommend kind of pressing the mixture into the shell a bit just to make it a bit more compact. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese.
(Step 6) Bake the tart on a baking tray for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove tart from oven when the filling is set and the tart shell is nicely brown. Cool tart slightly before serving.

Shopping List (based on this recipe)
Tart Shell
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1 pinch salt
3-4 tablespoons ice water

Sausage and Kale Filling
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound Italian sausage
1 bunch kale (a large bunch), stemmed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips
1 egg
1/4 cup ricotta (or another soft cheese like feta or goat cheese)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

3 comments

  1. Can this recipe be made a day or two ahead? If so, at which step would one stop in the advance prep? For example, would you make the filling and crust and keep them separate, and then when ready to serve, add filling to the crust before baking? Or, could you bake it all ahead and then simple reheat?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tanya! You can absolutely make some of this - or all of it - in advance. Here are some potential breaking points:
      (1) just make the dough in advance. I've kept it in my fridge for up to 3 days without any issue. Just wrap it tight in plastic wrap.
      (2) up until the point after you've made the crust but not filled it. Again, wrap it well and put in the fridge for a day.
      (3) make the whole thing and just reheat before serving.

      I would probably do (3) or (1) as the easiest breaks in preparation. Let me know if this doesn't answer your question.

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