12 Mar 2013

wholefoods - olive oil dough


About a year ago my beautiful man and I began to take a closer look at what we were putting into our bodies and that of our babies. Although we ate quite well we knew that in order to drink in all their is out of this life we knew we needed to nourish our bodies better. Investigations were made and much reading was done. Sinister additives were revealed as tins and packets were upturned for supermarket perusal.  A bountiful and utterly inspiring Wholefoods course was devoured and a pantry overhaul was undertaken.  Opting for the "bandaid" approach (i.e. brace yourself and rip it off as fast as possible) we culled packets, jars, and tins of the overly processed variety and passed them onto charity.

Slowly and ever so mindfully our Mother Hubbard's cupboard has blossomed with many jars of earth hued pulses, seeds and flours. Words such as amaranth, quinoa and kuzo have joined our culinary repertoire and meals are always cooked from scratch.  It has been a wonderful yet topsy turvey journey of developing palates, turned up noses (ours included!) and an at times overwhelming choice of ingredients and methods. This pilgrimage is far from over. As with all great learning I believe it will never end.

It is however, when bellies are rumbling and time is poor that things can often unravel in this wholefood world. I am still an infant in the preparation of beans; the soaking, the cooking and meal planning has become a necessity rather than an organisational fad I might be going through. It is at these times when the meat is still frozen solid that I reach for this recipe. A wonderfully crisp, light pastry filled with snips of this or that and a luscious egg custard.  Adorned with nought more than baby spinach and olives it is a delicious and nourishing meal we devour time and time again.

What nourishing standbys do you regularly reach for?

Steph x

This is the first of a series of posts I've been working on exploring our wholefoods journey. I look forward to sharing them with you. The recipe comes from An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler - a book that quite simply changed my culinary world.

Olive Oil Tart Dough

2 1/2 cups of flour (I use white spelt)
1/3 best possible olive oil
1/2 cup of ice water
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl adding more ice water if the dough doesn't stay together. Divide the dough in half and roll each into a ball. One ball can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for six months. Chill the other ball for half an hour and heat the oven to 200 degrees. When chilled, remove the dough and roll it into a 1/2 centimetre thick round on a floured bench. Lightly grease a 9 inch tart tin and. Crumple a sheet of baking paper and then line the tart tin. Fill with baking beads or dried beans or rice. Blind bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove the beads and paper and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven.

We fill our tart with whatever is to hand. Some nights it may be free range bacon, corn from the cob and grated parmesan. Others it will be leftover roast vegetables and chunks of feta. 2-3 eggs and a good dollop of cream are whisked together to make the binding custard. Baked for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden and crisping and the middle holds a hint of wobble.


  1. Oh yummo. Thanks Steph for the pastry recipe I'm always on the look out for new delicious recipes and this one I think will need to be on next weeks menu plan. xx

  2. Best book ever! This is a good pastry - I've made it and loved it. x

  3. And a great addition to the lunch box.
    Thank you.

  4. what a lovely journey Steph...likewise here...we really are committed to making meals from scratch and I love the new found legumes and other delights like quinoa too! I've never tried olive oil pastry..but must, it looks delish! And that books must deserve further exploring. Look forward to more in this series sweet lady xx

  5. this looks delish, I love making quiche but haven't tried olive oil dough before. such a great way to use up whatever you have! :)sarah

  6. Oh, I am going to hunt that book out. "Wholefood KItchen" is another good one to keep your eyes out for.

    Do have to ask though with the wholefoods, do your kids eat them? We did Wholefood kitchen the same time as you (and the vegan course the year before) and have been using lots of the recipes but my almost 3 year flatly refuses to eat - well except for the banana oat pancakes:). Her baby brother wolfs it down but Ginger is such a fusspot at the moment (she used to be much better). We are persisting in offering only healthy options at meal - and the old line "you don't have to eat it but you do have to try it" but she is subsisting on porridge, wholemeal bread, plain rice, rice cakes (with fresh ground peanut butter!), cheese, fruit, almonds and a handful of vegetables - corn, peas, brocolli, cucumber, carrots, potato and sweet potato. Anything that is not in its natural form she won't eat. It's driving me nuts!

    1. It definately has been a big learning curve for all of our palates but mostly it's texture that puts my girl off. She doesn't seem to like stir fries with a mixture of textures and prefers chunkier soups rather than blended ones (although having it in a big girl mug seems to entice her). It took me about ten goes at making our own crumpets before she finally said they were better than the ones from the shop. Thankfully she's always had a fairly sophisticated palate so she's coped pretty well. The little man like yours wolfs down everything and anything. Sounds like your daughter's diet is great although I'm sure it's driving you batty. Hang in there Mumma...she'll turn a corner soon. :) x

  7. That pastry looks so delicious Steph. What an amazing journey you are undertaking. I look forward to learning more about your wholefoods experience.
    P.S. It was so lovely to see you on Saturday. I hope your day was a great one x

  8. I must try that pastry. It looks delicious. I'm often put off by pastry's finicky nature, but this one sounds nice and easy. We love to use spelt too, much gentler on tummies.
    I grew up on wholefoods as a child and lost touch when I started working in fine dining restaurants. I still ate really well, but it was just unbalanced and way too rich. I found my wholefood groove again a few years ago and haven't looked back.
    With the dried pulses, I"ve discovered soaking and cooking big batches the way to go. This way you can have a variety in the fridge and freezer ready to use at any given moment.
    I look forward to your series. It's always good to get a little inspiration for meals.
    Your images are looking lovely too :)

  9. Thank you Steph. This sounds like a great recipe and I can't wait to read more about your wholefood journey as I am only just dipping my toes in our own.


  10. Thanks for the pastry recipe - I look forward to trying it. Will have to hunt down a copy of An Everlasting Meal too. Thanks for the recommendation, I'm keen to investigate whole foods more and to hear more about your journey too x

  11. You and your inspiring recipes... I always look forward to them because I've never seen anything like it! PS- thank you for the Everlasting Meal recommendation, too! Hope you're off to a lovely week x

  12. I've always been a bit of a fraidy cat when it comes to making pastry, but your instructions are clear and easy to follow. So I'm giving this a try right now. It's chilling in the fridge as I type. Had to use wholemeal spelt, as that's all I had on hand. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. If you've read this post and are thinking of making this pastry then you absolutely must. It's super quick to make and soooo delicious. I literally threw it together and into the fridge, went for a walk with the family and when we came back rolled out the pastry and made the quiche filling - the best quiche we ever ate hands down. Good-bye yucky supermarket pastry forever - it feels so good to say that! Thanks Steph xx


Your words brighten my day! Thank-you so much for joining me on my adventure. x