Sweet Pea Hummus and Ricotta Tarts

26 March 2014 Filed In: all the rest, appetizer, Appetizers, cheese, cooking class, Course Type, hummus, Ingredient, lunchbox, Main Dish, Recipes, Seasonal Dishes, Side Dish, Snacks, Soy-free, spreads, Spring, Summer, tart, Type of Dish, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Sweet pea hummus and ricotta tartsmaking ricotta 2separating the curds and wheyrolling out puff pastry doughrolling out the puff pastry 2rolling out the puff pastry 3making the sweet pea hummus 1letting children choose their ingredients

In cooking class with the older mini-chefs this week, we endeavored to make a multi step tart especially for Spring. It involved some quick cheese-making, thanks to this wonderfully easy ricotta recipe via The Barefoot Contessa, and puff pastry dough rolling, cutting, and baking, and throwing together some Sweet Pea Hummus in the food processor.

In the end, we ate our tarts at a very messy table, flour everywhere, and the topping ingredients set out for each to have his or her own assembly process. Lately, especially with these older kids, we have been allowing them to serve themselves and be involved in choosing what works for them. Letting them choose makes a difference because sometimes it gets them to take a tiny taste of something that they otherwise might not. It allows them to begin the creative process of recipe crafting and begin to understand balancing flavors in a dish.

My daughter Mira ate her tart, as you can see just above, with a schmear of ricotta and two little peas whereas some of the other mini-chefs loaded their tarts with scallions and chives and large spoonfuls of the hummus. Being together and eating together, is helping Mira, very conservative about what she will try, become more adventuresome over time. She even tasted, but said she didn’t like, the hummus.

With some kids, you just keep exposing them to new foods and slowly some light seeps through the cracks in their food wall.  For Mira, The Princess and Her Two Peas, adding those two small green polka dots was a big step.

Sweet Pea Hummus and Ricotta Tarts

For the Hummus:

  • 1 1/2 c. peas (if using frozen, thaw first)

  • the juice of a large lemon

  • 1 large clove garlic

  • 1-2 T. chives

  • 1/2 t. salt

  • 1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

  • optional: small handful of mint leaves

Place all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and secure the top of the processor. Process for a minute before adding the olive oil through the feed tube at the top. Taste to adjust the seasoning. If you’d like to make the hummus ahead of time, store in an air-tight container with a tablespoon of olive oil drizzled over the top to avoid discoloring.

For the Tart:

  • one recipe of Sweet Pea Hummus

  • 2 packages of puff pastry dough, thawed in the refrigerator overnight

  • a bit of flour to roll out the dough

  • 2 c. ricotta cheese

  • 1 c. peas

  • a handful of chives, chopped

  • 2 scallions, sliced thin

  • optional: a few tablespoons of soft goat cheese, crumbled

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

  2. Roll out the dough. On a lightly floured board, roll out the first package of puff pastry till it’s 1/4-1/8-inch thick. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the puff pastry into squares or rectangles, etc.  You can decide how you’d like your tarts to look.  Artistic license rules here.  Place the puff pastry pieces onto the lined baking sheets leaving some space for each piece to puff up and expand as they bake.  Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.  Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry.

  3. To assemble and serve: Place bowls and spoons for all of the toppings out on the table and serve family/buffet style.  Allow your diners to choose how they’d like to load up their puff pastry.

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