Beef and Mushroom Tart

I believe there is more to life than pizza!  There….I said it and I’ll stand by it no matter what anyone says.  The fact that you are reading this tells me I am not alone.  And I have two words for that:  Thank GOD!

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I live in a household of men…no girls…just me against the testosterone.  So it is no surprise to most people who know me, that I am not a dainty thing, but I am still….not a guy!  While it is true that I live in the home of Carnivorous Rex times 3, I have made it my life’s work (sort of) to show that there is something more than cheese and pepperoni that can be put on a crust.  I am not just talking about veggies.  I’m talking about flavor.

This dish is an example of what can happen when you think outside of the (pizza) box. I started with the crust itself.  I make my own but you can still add flavor to even the store bought in the can ones.  Before you start pressing it out.  Sprinkle your favorite herbs (oregano and thyme) over it….get wild and sprinkle on sunflower seeds!  Just press it all in while you press out the crust.  The flavors and extra crunch will just add to the enjoyment of it all.

Next…forget about the sauce.  What??  Yep, I said no sauce.  Instead of making a sauce with the flavors.  I am going to put the flavors right onto the meat.  Yes…..there will be meat my little carnivores…tasty meat.

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By concentrating the seasoning into the meat portion, I knew I could use leaner meat and get even better flavor.  And of course, there will be veggies, sauteed first and a cheese that gave you lots of flavor so you could keep the quantity in check.

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What you get is known as a savory tart.  And it makes for a great meal.

You’ll need:

A whole wheat pizza crust with herbs (use any good pizza crust recipe and add 1/2Tbs each of dried oregano and thyme.  Also add 1/4 cup of roasted sunflower seeds if you like.

Or add these to your “in the can crust” from the grocers and  press them in while you press out the crust.

1 lb of lean ground beef or 1/2 beef and 1/2 ground turkey

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1 Tbs dried oregano

2-3 tbs sun dried tomato jam

1 tbs balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped or 2 Tbs basil sauce

Olive oil as needed

1 large yellow onion, chopped

8 oz mushrooms (crimini or portabella) sliced

1 1/2 cup peppers (sweet or spicy or both!) chopped

1/2 cup fresh herbs (parsley,basil or cilantro) medium chop

1-2 cups cheese (big flavors here)  feta, manchego, sharp cheddar, asiago

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In a medium skillet, brown your meat and drain off most of the fat.  Return to medium heat and add the oregano, tom jam, and vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Give it a good stir and turn off the heat.

While the meat is browning….

In a second pan, saute  your veggies on medium low heat in the olive oil.  Just as they soften, add your basil and cook for just a couple more minutes.  Turn off the heat. (you could add olives too!)

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Press your pizza dough out on a half sheet pan while your filling cools down.  Spread seasoned meat out over dough leaving an 1 1/2 inch border.  Spread veggies over the meat.  Add the fresh herbs and top with cheese.  Pull the edges of the dough up and over the filling to make a brendle.

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Place in oven for 20 minutes until the crust is lightly browned.  Serve with additional cheese if desired.  Enjoy!

This reheats beautifully and makes a great boxed lunch.

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