I’m not sure if it’s specific to South Africa, but there’s a rather nifty dish called pap tart – it’s a tart made with a maize meal and stuffed with all sorts of tid bits, mostly cheese and bacon. Since I’m rather obviously vegan, this would not do, but the idea of a stuffed savoury tart was too good to pass up on the cusp of the weekend when laziness is bound to set in, or if you need a meal to fuel you as you prance about your business.
Yesterday it was my SIL Rikke’s birthday, so we had a merry get-together and I was of course spoilt with my very own dish of mushrooms, beet, spinach and other goodies to add to the zucchini pasta I brought along (seriously zucchini pasta is where it’s at). I wanted to include some of those same elements in this dish, although I didn’t have beet on hand, and you can bet spinach and mushrooms are a magical combination, especially with a rich but oil-free hummus in the mix.
Usually a pap tart is rather firm, but I wanted something a bit more silky, porridge-esque and filled with delicious hummus. You can omit more broth if desired to create a firm tart, but I added about 1/2 a cup more than is written in the recipe and hence why my version looks so gooey and tantalizing – go either way and you can’t go wrong!
Ingredients (serves 6 – 10):
- 1 can cannelini beans
- 3 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 1 TBSP onion powder
- 1 TBSP dried parsley
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 cups polenta, dry
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/2 cup carrot purée
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 250g sliced button or brown mushrooms
- 1 can chopped tomatoes, mostly drained of excess liquid
- 4 big handfuls of spinach, steamed
- Optional topping: vegan parmesan
- Paprika and parsley to taste
- Blend hummus ingredients until smooth.
- Slice your mushrooms and steam your spinach. If you want to go large by all means fry up your spinach with sliced onions and garlic.
- Boil your water and then add your polenta, turning the heat down to medium-low. Add the soy milk, carrot purée and spices and stir, getting rid of clumps until smooth, then set aside.
- Preheat to 180C and spray a rectangular casserole dish.
- Layer half the polenta on the bottom, then lay down half your sliced mushrooms and splash with paprika and dry (or finely chopped fresh) parsley.
- Spread half your chopped tomatoes on top, then blob on the hummus and spread evenly.
- Add the rest of your mushrooms and tomatoes with your spinach on top.
- Blob the rest of your polenta scattered across the top, then smooth over until it covers the top evenly.
- Bake for 1 hour, then let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Yum! Easy, versatile and just plain good for you. I’m not always big on starchy meals (because it makes me super sleepy) but this is just the perfect weekend bliss meal to keep or freeze and reheat at a later stage (such as for emergency weekly rations of dinner when you’re too lazy to go to the shops). As I said before, if you use less liquid you’ll have more of a crispy top and a firmer tart, but doesn’t that gooey center just beg to be eaten? If you’re big into carbs you could totally use some bread to soak up the hummus-y goodness, especially in the baking pan itself.So there you have it – chop chop and it’s all done! I would easily recommend grating some carrots and beetroot as well to go inside, or best of all to add some eggplant bacon (very, very liberally) all over the show. Alas my dad and his veggie garden are my #1 supplier of eggplants so I haven’t gotten over there yet to take advantage of their bounty, but still. Yum yum!
Anyway, I’m being disturbingly short-worded today as I’m soon off to the cat shelter and desperately need a little nap before I go, but hopefully the pictures speak for themselves! 😀