The Cooking Process:
Preparing the ingredients: I started by pre-heating the oven to 425°F and washing all the fresh products. I have to say, everything that Blue Apron sent was fresh and of a very high quality. The kale leaves were very meaty. I then peeled and roughly chopped the garlic, thinly sliced the shallot and quartered the lemon. Finally, I removed the kale stems and thinly sliced the leaves.
Cooking the kale: In a large pan I heated some olive oil until hot and then added the garlic and shallot and seasoned with salt and pepper. I cooked it, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, until tender. Next, I added the kale, seasoned with additional salt and pepper and cooked while stirring occasionally for 3 minutes, until it was slightly wilted. Once it was ready, I added the heavy cream and 1/4 cup of water to the pan, seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked for another 2 minutes, until most of the liquid had cooked off.
Making the filling: I started the filling by cracking the cage free egg into a large bowl, adding the ricotta cheese, the juice of 1 lemon wedge, and some red pepper flakes. I then whisked the ingredients to thoroughly combine. I then stirred in the finished kale and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Assembling & baking the tarts: I loved the fact that Blue Apron sent tarts crusts that were already in their own baking tins – it makes it so easy to cook even the most sophisticated dishes! I simply placed the pie crusts on a sheet pan, leaving them in their tins. I then divided the filling between the crusts and baked for 20 minutes until the crusts had browned and the filling was cooked through. The smell was divine, but I needed to wait about 5 minutes before serving!
Making the salad & plating: While the tarts were baking, I roughly chopped the leaves of the beautiful butter lettuce and placed it in a large bowl. I then quartered and cored the apple and thinly sliced it lengthwise. Lastly, I roughly chopped the almonds and added the apple, almonds, and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges to the bowl. To complete the salad, I drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. I served this dish as a sharing dish to the center of the table and everyone took a slice. It was so delicious that by the end of dinner there where only crumbles left on the plate.
On a Personal Note:
The tarts were lovely and festive, a perfect dish for my Thanksgiving dinner. The kale ricotta filling was delicate and light, and the already prepared pie crust was flaky and delicious. I absolutely loved it!