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Friday, July 27, 2012

Kale, Mushroom, and Cranberry Tart

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes, but unfortunately, I can't really take credit for it. It's a delicious kale, mushroom, and cranberry tart with a honey-sweetened Gorgonzola cheese spread. It may sound weird, but I promise you, it tastes amazing, and it's a great way to pile on the veggies and nutrients. I saw it on the Food Network and then put my own spin on it. A lot of people always ask me for the recipe, so here it is.

What you will need:
1 package of Baby Bella mushrooms
2 - 8 inch Boboli pizza crusts (or whatever brand you can find)
Kale (can either be fresh or frozen. I opt for fresh)
1 medium shallot
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of garlic oil (or olive oil)
White wine
Salt and pepper to taste

4oz. of light cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
1/4 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (softened at room temperature)

Before you start, turn your oven to broil on the low setting. Put your pizza crusts in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. You want them slightly crisp but not hard. Remove them to let them cool.

Pour a tiny bit of olive oil in a skillet. I use garlic oil which you can buy near the olive oil in any grocery store. You don't NEED to have it, but I just love the flavor. Olive oil works perfectly. Mince a medium sized shallot and 1 clove of garlic. Sautee them together over medium low heat so you don't burn the garlic, and the flavors will infuse themselves in the oil. The shallot will become nice and soft. I use a shallot because I love the mild onion flavor, and I feel as if a regular onion has a flavor that is too strong for this dish. While those are cooking, chop up 1 container of Baby Bella mushrooms. Again, make sure to chop them small because they will top our crust later. If you like the pieces bigger, by all means. Cook down the mushrooms with the garlic and onion mixture. Right before it looks like the mushrooms are done, add a splash of white wine. It can be cooking wine or any white wine you have on hand. It adds such a depth of flavor. When I say "splash", I mean splash. You don't need more than 1/4 cup.
Next, be sure and chop up your kale if it's not already in pieces. Kale is a lot easier to eat if you chop it into smaller pieces, and it works well for this recipe. Sautee the kale in the pan with the mushrooms, garlic, and shallot. It will take a while for the kale to cook down if it's fresh. It may look like a lot, but it will wilt into a lot less. (I'm a huge fan of kale, so I will buy a large bunch and cook the whole bunch down.) Season the kale with salt & pepper as it cooks. I always flavor in layers to be sure that every element has flavor.
The last thing you want to do before the veggies are done is to add 1/4 cup of dried cranberries. You may think this sounds weird, but it's absolutely delicious with the kale and mushrooms. Stir the cranberries into the veggies and give them a few minutes to soften. As the mixture continues to cook, the cranberries will reconstitute slightly. After about 5 minutes you can take the veggies off of the heat and allow them to cool off.

While the vegetable mixture is cooling you're going to make the Gorgonzola cheese spread for the tart. In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, Gorgonzola cheese, sour cream, and honey. (I know this sounds like a strange combo, but trust me...Gorgonzola cheese and honey...YUM!!) Using electric beaters, or a mixer, cream the ingredients together. The consistency should be smooth but slightly thick. Remember, if your cheeses are at room temperature that will lend to a smoother cheese spread. Spread this mixture onto your pizza crusts.
Spoon the room temperature veggies on top of the cheese spread. This is where you can have fun because you can add as much of the vegetable mixture that you'd like. (Hint: add a lot!)
And you're done! I use a pizza cutter and slice it into 4 pieces. I only end up eating half of it, but I definitely have been known to eat the whole thing. ;-) Experiment with it, try it a few times, and let me know what you think of it. It's a favorite of mine when I need lots of nutrients. Happy eating!

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