This post is credited to Cyrille and his mum, and, if I may add one more person, the winemaker of this lovely sparkling wine we drank, which was far more superior than some Champagnes I’d previously drunk.
Cyrille had shown me some family recipes and this tart was one of them, which was delicious. We normally think of sweet rhubarb desserts, rhubarb crumble or tart, rhubarb chocolate mousse, etc. and it was a good idea to incorporate sour rhubarb with salty lardons. In fact, rhubarb is a vegetable, not fruit, therefore it shouldn’t be strange to use it in savoury dishes.
Many of you probably have stories to tell regarding rhubarb; how much sugar grandma and grandpa would add to make the sour stalks edible. Some love it or hate it at the beginning but before you know it, you’re hooked. Oh, right now I can feel saliva starting to fill up in my mouth just imaging the taste of rhubarb.
Rhubarb actually originated in China, in 2700BC, for medicinal purpose. You can read more about various stories of rhubarb here, if you’re interested. You can do many combinations such as sour&sweet, sour&sour and sour&salty. That caught my attention in this article was how rhubarb resembles lemongrass. Hang on, it might be the secret ingredient in the notoriously secretive sauce of Café de Paris steak, which is known now as L’Entrecôte. The sauce had, when I tasted, the tangy lime flavour, which I automatically connected to lemongrass, but it shouldn’t have been used in the 40s. Then, it can be a combination of lime and flower. Yes, it’s definitely the lime and flowers of herbs.
Maybe he, being a big fan of lardons, put too much of them, but I must admit that it was delicious and went beautifully with the cremant. Speaking of the Cremant, we got it during our wine and cheese tour to Arbois, precisely from Domain de la Pinte. It was very crisp with supple green apple and citrus flavours and had that yeasty and buttery taste that good Champagne has. The dryness and sweetness were in a perfect balance.
I can picture Cyrille making another visit to Arbois to stock up more of the Cremant du Jura before Christmas or maybe he’s already done it and hasn’t told me about it yet. I know many Champane enthusiasts will be furious by my comparing it to Champagne because it’s Champagne. However, I’ve drunk bubbly wines from various countries and various regions in France so I can claim that this Cremant can be a rival to good Champagnes. Probably it’s not as competitive in the bubble department but the bubble explosion was pretty good.
Many French singles make a savoury tart and eat through the week, and why not? It’s so tasty and convenient. I enjoyed the tart the next day for my lunch very much. I never warm tarts in the microwave. When I can’t be bothered to turn on the oven, I’d rather put a slice in a fry pan and warm it slowly over low heat with the lid on for 5 mins and with the lid off for 1-2 mins. Yes, it takes longer than the microwave, but the taste is worth the patience. Good food require patience – Rule#1
If you’re planning to stock up some bubblies for Christmas, why not consider Cremant du Jura? I certainly would, even if I’m not a bubbly person. When you’re drinking bubbles with me, even if it’s Champagne, you don’t need to do the mental fight of who-drink- more because I don’t get on with anything with bubbles. But I wouldn’t mind a glass of this again. When would it be, I wonder, as Jura wines are so hard to get hold of. Oh, well…..
Tangy Savoury Rhubarb Lardon Tart
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1 ready-rolled puff pastry or pie crust
For the filling
200g lardon or 4-5 rashers of bacon(unsmoked)
3 cups rhubarb, trimmed and cut
1/3 c cup heavy cream
cracked black pepper
100g Comte, Emmental or Cheddar cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 200’C(390F) and line a tart pan with parchment and roll out the pastry.
2. Scatter the rhubard and lardon evenly, whisk the eggs and the cream and pour over the filling and crack some black pepper to season.
3. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for 20 mins until golden.