Do you get this phase in your cooking adventures where you want to impress and don’t know exactly how? Then you start adding ingredients, spices and aromatics and usually you end up with something that tastes like soap and dog food…
Having hit 30 years old recently, I am slowly realizing how right my grandma was when she told me “less is more”. Being at an age where I can somewhat claim that I can speak from experience…. in every field of ones life, the “less is more” mentality is making more sense every day.
What happens though is that you get all the basics figured out first and then the fine tuning takes place. You can see this in sports for example… the top players in every sport make it seem like it’s easy, effortless (Messi anyone?) whereas the bad players move a lot and accomplish little. This happens in cooking too, and that’s the reason I love italian food. Basil, mozzarella, tomato and olive oil… and that’s the end of it. Throw in some yeasty dough and you have pizza, and who doesn’t like pizza? You see… they have been fine tuning their recipes since 239857295b.c. and are now in that sweet spot I envy so much.
This is what I am trying to accomplish with this recipe… take a few simple vegetables and bring out the best they have to offer. Of course, you can add goat cheese and make it “better” but all you are doing is adding “noise” and I think I can reduce the ingredients more if I tried.
– 3 white onions chopped
– 4 carrots cut in thin Julienne
– half of each: yellow, red, orange bell pepper cut in thin Julienne
– 4 tbs +1/4 cup olive oil
– 1tbs butter
– 1tbs sugar
– 2 tsp chopped thyme
– 1tbs chopped basil
– salt pepper
– 1 cup all purpose flour + 1cup whole-wheat flour
– 1/2 cup ice cold water
1. For the crust combing the flour and 1/4 cup olive oil and work until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. (I always use my hands when making crusts) Add the water and 1/2 tsp salt and form a pliable dow. Knead for about 2-3 minutes and form a tight ball. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
2. Roll the dow out thinly between 2 pieces of parchment paper and place in an oiled tart-baking dish. Blindbake for 30 minutes at 180°C until nice and crispy. Reserve and let cool.
3. Bring a wide pan up to medium heat and add 1tbs butter and 1 tbs olive oil. Add onions and cook for at least 30 minutes until nicely caramelized (See french onion soup for detailed analysis) Towards the end add the sugar, thyme and basil and cook for 1-2 minutes then remove from pan and reserve.
4. In the same pan add 3 tbs olive oil and bring up to medium high heat. Add the carrots and bell peppers and saute for about 10 minutes until soft.
5. Combine vegetables with onions and place in the prebaked pie crust spreading it around evenly. Bake at 180°C for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and serve.
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