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Tarte de Mougins with olives
Tarte de Mougins with olives

This recipe is originally from Robert Vergier, the most famous chef from the Provence, who sadly passed away in 2017. His Michelin star restaurant in Mougins still exists but this aromatic savory pie is unfortunately no more on the menu. Delicious as an appetizer with an aperitif or as an antipasto, I make it at least once a year. When i recently made it for a group of Italian women, they kept asking me for the recipe, so it must be good. If possible use greek olives, which usually only sell with pits, so that's an extra quarter of an hour's work. Since I can't find Greek olives in Italy I use the spicy Taggia olives from LIguria. 

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The area along the Italian border with France traditionally shares many dishes with the Ligurian cuisine. Not strange since this part of France was back and forth under Italian or French rule and Italian was spoken in Nice until the year 1861. The climate is very similar and allows many crops of the same type, such as olive trees, flowers and basil.   

Ingredients:
  • 1 package of pâte brisée (crust dough)
  • 200 grams of onions cut into very thin rings
  • 400 grams spinach or chard
  • 180 grams small black olives
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme flowers (may also be leaves)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • pepper to taste (NO salt)
Recipe steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C,
  2. Slice the onion and fry them slowly in a large pan with some olive oil.
  3. Stir every now and again until they have become transparent and light brown.
  4. In the meantime stone the olives and cut them in half.
  5. Wash, dry and chop the vegetables.
  6. Add the vegetables, the chopped garlic and thyme to the onions.
  7. Cook over medium heat until all the moisture has evaporated.
  8. Take a large bowl and beat eggs and cream together.
  9. Remove the pan with the vegetables from the heat and stir in the egg mixture, grind some pepper over the mixture.
  10. Take a large pie pan  (30 cm) and roll out the dough over the dish, press it flat on the bottom and cut the edges or fold the edges inwards. 
  11. Spread the egg/vegetable mixture evenly over the bottom. Arrange the olives over the top.
  12. Brush some whipped egg over the edges of the dough for a nice shine.
  13. Put the pie in the oven for 10 minutes at 200°C, lower the temperature to 180°C and bake another 20 minutes.