Fresh corn and white miso paste — that’s where it began. I wanted to do something fun with the white miso paste I had bought a couple months earlier. I like to use the condiments in my pantry! And I was musing on how that might be an interesting flavor to put with all the fresh corn that starts showing up in (my local) Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market right about now.
Then, a few weeks ago, I came across a recipe for a Leek and Swiss Chard Tart over on Smitten Kitchen. The recipe itself was credited to Bon Appetit, October 1999. The tart was amazing — more a marriage of a frittata and a tart than a pure tart — and I started thinking about how I might be able to take my fresh corn and miso paste and marry them to that yummy hybrid structure. I started thinking. And then I started experimenting. And thus this tart was born.
You can eat it warm or cold. It gets better as it sits and the flavors meld further. It’s perfect for a make ahead meal or for a brunch. I’m hooked!
Start by thawing and prepping your puff pastry crust. Then put that back in the fridge while you chop your onions and roasted peppers (I used jarred from Trader Joe’s) and prepare the filling.
The corn kernels have a tendency to spray as you cut them from the cob, so I set the corn on its end, hold it in place with the thumb of my spare hand, and position the knife to cut down with the four fingers of my free hand hovering on the outside of the knife acting as a shield. BE CAREFUL. You do not want your fingers in the way of the knife. If anything, rest them lightly on the exterior of the knife. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a useful technique.
Once your ingredients are all ready, heat some olive oil in a large nonstick skillet and sauté the onions a few minutes before adding the chopped peppers and a bit of kosher salt. Add the corn last.
Miso paste is very salty on its own, so you’ll note there’s not a lot of salt in the rest of this recipe. Be very careful if you choose to add more. The star of this dish is the umami flavor. The secondary lead is the play on textures in the tart. Too much salt could overwhelm that balance.
There’s such a textural difference between fresh corn and frozen. Fresh corn has a crispness that just DOES it for me. This basic mixture would also do well in a taco salad, come to think of it. Hmm…
When your veggies are just cooked and the flavors have melded, whisk together three eggs and two egg yolks, along with whole milk, ground black pepper, dried thyme, and finally, that other ingredient that started it all — white miso paste.
And there you have it! Enjoy. 🙂