Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Before I begin telling you about this recipe, I have to talk about the fact that I'm not the greatest at carving, painting or cutting a straight line. That's most likely why I never went into medicine to become a plastic surgeon, cuz if I did, there would be a lot of folks walking around out there with a nose placed at the side of their heads. Yep. Not good with measuring. Not good with straight lines. And terrible in math. Now you know.

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What you also must of aware of is that lately roses are all the rage in the culinary world. Avocado ones. Fruit ones. Vegetable ones. I believe that fruit carving was invented to drive me insane. Not that I don't like a challenge but really? Who the heck has time to carve your garnishes into a rose? I'm not gonna lie. I'm tempted to sculpt ice but I know I would hurt myself in the process.

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I had this specific vision in my mind to add vegetable roses into a recipe I have used before using puff pastry. I happened to have had puff pastry hanging around in the freezer and my plan was to make ONE savory tart and ONE sweet tart. The beauty of this brainiac idea was to use leftover ingredients instead of leaving piddly amounts of this and that in the fridge. I hate that. Like really hate it. And Steve hates it even more when he does "Fridge Inventory". 

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He pulls out things that have been lurking around for weeks and then asks "what's this? what's that?"

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I look at this and that and say, "I have no idea". Then he smells it. Yes, he smells it. Sometimes he tastes it if it's not furry. And sometimes he just tosses it out without question. The Fridge Surveyor has done his job and I'm just happy to have more room in the fridge for "this and that".

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Okay, back to this tart.

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As you can see there are semi shapes of vegetables on here which were supposed to be roses. Like all recipes of mine which are sometimes epic fails I'm going to give you the cold hard facts behind these stupid roses. I'm also going to give you a list of excuses as to why I think that they look half assed:

The mandoline. Yes, I have used this gadget before and yes I have given you some lame excuse as to why I can't figure this thing out. I believe it is because I have a fear of using it and chopping off my fingers. Good enough reason right?

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Each time I unbox that thing I can't put it together. I end up with one part of it hanging off the side of the mandoline and then I toss it aside taking my life and fingers in my hands.

Listen, it's simple enough to use but should come with a warning to keep out of reach of children AND ME.

I started by carving the vegetables too thin, which in retrospect was perfect.

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Then I turned up the mandoline dial to the next thickness level and went to town. All my veggie slices looked great but hang on.

When I steamed them they were waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy too thick to roll into the proverbial ROSE.


So I steamed them again. AND AGAIN........AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.........until I could steam them no more.

When they finally were pliable enough to roll I ended up with a rose tart that looked like this↓

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Not bad, not great....not even remotely close to roses.

Not bad, not great....not even remotely close to what I thought it should look like.

How about we just call this a tart with pretty colored shapes of something that look like um....roses?

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Here's the moral of the story....

A rose by any other name........would end up looking like this tart and taste just as delicious.

And a mandoline needs to be used by anyone else but me.

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1 roll puff pastry, completely thawed

Filling: 1 1/4 cups (350g) ricotta cheese, I used light/smooth 2 extra large eggs 1/3 cup (80g) freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese 1/2 cup bocconcini cheese or fresh mozzarella, diced into small pieces 1/8 tsp nutmeg 2 tbls oil, I used virgin avocado 1 tbls fresh basil, minced

Garnish: 4 carrots 1 yellow zucchini 1 green zucchini 2-3 purple cabbage leaves additional basil leaves for garnish salt & pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Unroll puff pastry and place in a round or square 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Cover with parchment paper and weight it down with rice, peas or store bought ceramic pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove for oven and cool completely. 2) Prepare filling ingredients in a medium size bowl, mix well and set aside. 3) Kick up the oven temperature to 375F. 4) For the Roses: slice the zucchini and the carrots for their length using a mandolin or better yet a vegetable peeler. Make sure that they are thin enough to be pliable for handling. Place the slices in a bowl, cover and cook in the microwave for 1 minute intervals or until soft enough to roll. 5) Take one of a vegetable and roll it very tightly. That’s the core of your rose. Take another slice and roll it around the core of the rose. I only used one or two slices per rose. 6) Now stick the rose into the centre of the tart: the filling will not allow the vegetable rose to fall over. Trust me on this one and call me if you have falling roses. 7) Continuing rolling the roses and placing them in the tart in a nice pattern. Place tart on a cookie sheet and brush all the roses and edges with oil (I love using avocado oil). 8) Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until puff pastry is cooked and golden brown. Serve warm.

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