I have officially been in Seattle for one month now and I have to tell you that I am completely in love with this city. Everywhere I turn, there is a blooming tree or the seagulls nearby at the harbor. I love driving over the Ballard bridge and seeing the fishing boats with their red and blue hues.
Even the rain feels fresh and renewing.
I have been exploring the city quite a bit and if you follow me on Instagram, you will see how.
So many amazing restaurants and the farmer’s markets to visit. I shall write a list soon.
The first produce of spring has begun to appear. The first asparagus, radishes, fiddle-greens, wood sorrel, rosy spring garlic… I even discovered chickweed, which I had never tasted nor heard about. Grassy, watercress-like green that I have been adding to nearly everything.
Last Sunday, as I was walking through the Ballard farmer’s market, I heard a vendor shout “first rhubarb of the season!”. Long green stalks with deep red tips. I couldn’t wait to get home to make a simple tart with it and to stew it for Eton mess.
Brown rice flour and amaranth pastry filled with orange flower water and vanilla bean-scented custard, roasted rhubarb and strawberries. I made them into individual tartlets but the recipe makes a large round tart as well. And next time, I will make it with the rhubarb and caramelized apples. Also note that the recipe is gluten and dairy free, but if you are not a fan of coconut, you could always use butter in the crust (increase it to 8 tablespoons) and heavy cream in the filling.
And another wonderful thing about being in Seattle? The abundance of wild Alaskan salmon. After my trip to Sitka last year, I will never buy any other salmon again.
These tartines are my new favorite quick lunch. Sliced gluten-free oat bread topped with grilled leeks, shaved fennel, pan-seared salmon, chickweed and crispy fried slices of spring garlic. Topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.
Jon and Miren have been devouring it.
Rhubarb and strawberry tartlets scented with orange flower water and vanilla bean
makes a 9-inch tart or smaller tartlets
3/4 cup (105 g) superfine brown rice flour
1/3 cup (45 g) amaranth flour
1/4 cup (30 g) cornstarch
1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
7 tablespoons cold coconut oil, cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
In a food processor, combine the first 7 ingredients. Add the cold coconut oil and pulse until there are small visible pieces of coconut oil cut into the flour.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and water. Add to dough and pulse until it comes together. Add ore water if needed.
Transfer dough to your work surface, knead a couple of times and form into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes or until cold but still pliable.
Dust your surface with a little bit of superfine brown rice flour, roll the dough to about 1/8″ thickness and fill the tart molds. Cut off excess. Return tart to refrigerator and chill for another 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Dock the bottom of the tart pans with a fork. Cover with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove parchment and weights and bake another 10 minutes.
Rhubarb and strawberry filling
1 pound (450 g) rhubarb, cut into 3-inch pieces
3 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut milk
1 teaspoon orange flower water
8 ounces (225 g0 strawberries
Increase oven temperature to 400F (200C). Place the rhubarb in a baking dish, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar, the vanilla seeds and the bean on top. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes until tender but still holds its shape. When cool enough to handle, fill the tart with the rhubarb. Save the roasting liquid. Reduce oven temperature to 350F (180C).
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, orange flower water and remaining rhubarb juice. Pour over the tart. Top with strawberries.
Bake for 20 minutes or until set. Let the tart cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before cutting.