Chunks of roasted pumpkin or winter squash are nestled on a bed of spinach, drenched with a rich custard and dotted with blue cheese in this savory tart, which can be baked in an impressive large tart pan or as individual tarts. It makes a rather elegant vegetarian main course for a simple dinner.
You will need some roasted pumpkin or squash to make the tart. You can cut a small squash into about 1-inch cubes, toss them with a bit of olive oil, and roast them in a hot oven until tender when pierced with a fork, or simply roast a whole pumpkin or squash and scoop out the sweet and tender flesh. You can also use pre-cut butternut squash, but you will probably need to cut the chunks into smaller, 1-inch pieces.
I like to make my own tart crust – this Perfectly Flaky Crust is a favorite — but a pre-made crust works fine too.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: 1 9- to 10-inch Tart
- 1 9- or 10-inch tart crust
- 10 oz. spinach
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- About 2 cups cubed or scooped roasted pumpkin or winter squash (see notes above)
- About 4 oz. Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out tart crust and line a large tart shell with it or line 8 small individual-sized tart pans. Prick crust all over with a fork, lay a piece (or pieces for the individual pans) of parchment paper or foil directly onto the crust, weigh the paper down with pie weights, dried beans, or dry rice, and bake 15 minutes. Remove weights and paper and bake another minutes. Set partially baked crust(s) aside.
- Meanwhile, remove the thick stems from the spinach and rinse it until impeccably clean (there is nothing worse that a gritty tart!). Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat and add spinach leaves to it with the water still clinging to its freshly cleaned leaves. Cover and cook to completely wilt the spinach, about 1 minute. Dump spinach into a colander and let cool. When cool enough to handle, pick up a small handful and squeeze as much water out of it as you can. Set that handful aside and repeat until all the spinach has been squeezed within an inch of its life.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg (if using) together. Stir in Parmesan.
- Arrange the spinach in a fairly solid layer on the bottom of the crust(s). Plop small bite-size spoonfuls or chunks of the pumpkin or squash evenly over the tart crusts(s). Add bits and pieces of the blue cheese here and there. Pour the custard mixture over and around the pumpkin/squash. Bake until crust is deeply golden and the custard is just barely jiggles at all in the center when you wiggle the tart pan gently, about 40 minutes. Let tart sit for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes before you cut into it (this will allow the custard to finish setting up).