Torsos and Tarts

His torso glistened as I walked by him and up the stairs to “Men’s Activewear”.  He was wearing red and white beach trunks – possibly a seasonal gesture –  flip flops and that was it. He stood immobile, occasionally turning his head like an on-duty life guard.

He was decoration, nothing more – a human statue that Hollister (the sister co to Abercrombie & Fitch) had placed in high traffic areas to elevate the store beyond just a cool fashion brand and to, I guess, declare the brand’s celebration of male beauty.

As I could not find a sales person I had little choice but to ask the statue for advice on fit … he obliged – medium would be better than a large for a 14 year. I think it would have been a violation of his contractual obligation to cover his torso while on duty, so I refrained from asking him to try the hoodie on.

He smiled, a slow, broad surfer’s smile, wished me happy holidays and at that moment any question I had of the worthiness of “mere” decoration vanished.

So what on earth does this have to do with food?  Very little, except for the joy and elevation that the simple act of decoration can bring to anything – especially to food at this time of year. Take a savory summer spinach tart (like the one I make), add a twig of rosemary, some pomegranate “holly berries” and transform it into a festive holiday dish.  If you can’t find pomegranates, use small bits of cranberry.

This time I used feta but have usually use goat cheese.  I also love to add sweet corn (frozen is fine), which provides a contrast to the salty feta or goat.  The crust is made of spelt (hence the “over cooked” look).

Give is a shot, it’s pretty great, could not be simpler (especially if you cheat and buy the crust, which I did) and ideal for a holiday brunch, or bake it in a square dish and cut into tiny pieces for cocktail party finger food – put a couple pomegranate seeds on each piece. (One thing to note if you’re buying store-bought crust, many brands add flavoring, so if you’re not into “pie crust flavor”, read the ingredients.)

These little things are ideal for decorating savory or sweet foods like holiday cookies or cakes, and they make a wonderful mess ! 

Get the recipe for Spinach, Goat Cheese and Corn Tart.

Any fun holiday decorating tips you can share?

Related Posts
Squash soup with cumin and ginger (Drop a few pomegranate seeds on top of a dollop of yogurt/cream on top of a bowl of this!)
Kale with sweet bits (Another very festive dish, this one with cranberries)

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  • Karen

    Hi — I make something really similar with kale and feta — it’s delicious.  I cheat too with a frozen whole wheat crust from Whole Foods and the whole thing is an easy week-night meal that all four of my kids love.  As always, thanks for your great blog!

  • Anonymous

    Hi — I make something really similar with kale and feta — it’s
    delicious.  I cheat too with a frozen whole wheat crust from Whole Foods
    and the whole thing is an easy week-night meal that all four of my kids
    love.  As always, thanks for your great blog!

  • http://www.in-homeculinaryclasses.blogspot.com Vicki Bensinger

    I haven’t made a quiche in so long and I always use to eat them.  This looks simply delicious and with goat cheese omg, just incredible.  I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight – I think it will be quiche.  Sounds heavenly!

  • ctb

    Yum! & serendipitous – I’ve been dreaming of a Swiss chard & ricotta quiche lately – love the idea of feta , which would give it a spanakopita flavour, I think.

    As far as decorating tips, the 1st that comes to mind is that we grew up making colorful & icing-laden Christmas  cookies – a big production, involving a tableful of supplies, sticky fingers & hours of fun, but now that children are all grown, I’ve learned to prefer quick & simple 1s like old-fashioned gingerbread cutouts topped w/ a sprinkle of sugar & butter spritz, topped w/ nothing @ all. I use my mom’s old cookie gun, the same 1 we grew up using.

    Apologies, but I noticed an unusual number of typos in this article – due to haste, or maybe too much holiday spirits?

  • http://spinachtiger.com Angela@Spinachtiger

    Love tarts and anything this colorful. Would love to know more about how to make spelt pastry. just sub one for one.

    • http://www.thesweetbeet.com Michelle Madden

      WholeFoods stocks an excellent pre-made spelt crust which I love, so usually buy it from them. If you’re making from scratch, take into account that spelt is heavier and drier than wheat flour, so modify other ingredients accordingly…