Other People’s Houses

One of our neighbors is a pet sitter, and she seems to have stayed in half the homes in this neighborhood.  Lucky gal, right?  Oh, to see all that history.  I’d love that. She takes such good care of the pets when the parents vacation.  She walks them every day, plays with them, and talks to them.  She is a true animal lover.  She stayed at my parents’ house, and I swear they came home to a cleaner, more well behaved dog.  She’s so loved that when certain dogs are out for a walk with their parents and they see her, the dogs run toward her with such excitement, their tails wagging uncontrollably, that they drag their parents behind them.


Toby “Monster,” my parents’ oversized Aussie.


As good as dogs are at keeping us Company, occasionally she wants to talk to another adult.  Plus you can imagine it’s lonely staying in another person’s home without the comfort of your own home around you.  Because 1) we know several of the home owners and have been to their home before, 2) she asks permission of the owners, and 3) dogs are social animals and enjoy the company, occasionally we will visit her while she is pet sitting.   This was one of those days.  Now, this may seem odd to visit other people’s homes while they aren’t there, but for this neighborhood, it’s really not.  I would note that you have to check off criteria 1, 2 and 3 for this to be acceptable, but if you meet them, go for it.  Plus, this wasn’t a college rave, it was a group of adults, chatting over Kale & Onion Tart.  Good company, good food, good dogs… good night.

How to be neighborly: Mi casa, su casa

Here’s the tart we chatted about.

Kale & Onion Tart



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 c kale, chopped, loosely packed
  • 2 tbsp sundried tomatoes
  • 1/3 c ricotta
  • 1 c Comte cheese, grated


  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp butter, chopped into ½ inch squares
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ c water


Make the tart shell by combining flour, salt and butter in a food processor. Pulse until the butter is the size of peas. While the food processor is running, drizzle in olive oil. While the food processor is running, drizzle in water. The dough should start to form in to a ball. If it’s too dry, add a little more water in 1 tablespoon increments. Roll dough into a circle and press into a tart shell. (*) Keep dough in the refrigerator until the filling is ready.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sauté the onion, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in olive oil until slightly translucent but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add Kale to the onion mixture, sauté for one minute, and remove from the heat. The kale should only be lightly wilted. It will cook in the tart.


Fill the tart shell with onion and kale mix. Top with tomatoes, drops of ricotta, then grated Comte.


Bake at 400 degrees for 30 mins. Serve warm.


(*) For easy rolling and clean up, I use two pieces of plastic wrap placed on the counter in a square as a mat for the dough, and then another two pieces on top and roll the dough between the plastic wrap. Keeps the counter and rolling pin clean, and is easy to remove the dough from the wrap.  You could also use a store bought pie crust, but it’s so easy and cheap to make this, why would you???


8 thoughts on “Other People’s Houses

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