A 'Hunger Games'-inspired feast with recipes

By Jackie Burrell

San Jose Mercury News

Published: Tuesday, March 27 2012 4:57 p.m. MDT

1 large clove garlic

3 large handfuls of spinach

1 large handful of watercress

1 large handful of parsley

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

2 cups vegetable stock

Salt to taste

1. Chop celery, green onion and garlic into small dice. Roughly chop spinach, watercress and parsley.

2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Then add the chopped celery and green onion. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the celery is softened. Add the garlic, and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

3. Add the spinach, watercress and parsley to the pan in batches, stirring until it all wilts. Continue to stir and cook for several more minutes.

4. Add the vegetable stock to the pan, turn the heat to medium-high, and bring up to a simmer. Then puree the soup until smooth using a blender, food processor or immersion blender. Add salt to taste. Serve as is, or strain it for a smoother, thinner consistency. Garnish with chopped parsley

—Jillian Wood, runner-up, Hunger Games recipe contest

GOAT CHEESE AND APPLE TARTS

Tart crust:

3 cups flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup shortening

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

5 tablespoons water, divided

Apple filling:

1/2 cup sugar

5 tablespoons cornstarch

? teaspoon cinnamon

1 pinch salt

1 pinch nutmeg

1 1/3 cups water

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 cups diced apples

Goat cheese filling:

5 ounces goat cheese

1/3 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1 large egg

Egg wash:

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon heavy cream

1. For the tart crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut the shortening in until the mixture is nice and crumbly. Whisk the beaten egg, vinegar and 4 tablespoons water in a large bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture. Mix with a fork, adding the last tablespoon water. Do not knead. Form the dough into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator.

2. For the apple filling, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Place the water in a pot and add the dry ingredients, breaking up the cornstarch. Add the lemon juice and apples, bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Mixture will thicken. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 8-10 minutes. If it's too thick, add more water.

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