Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tomato Tart

I've been on a tart-making kick lately. I think it's because school has started and I'm out of money, but I do have a lot of free produce around. I get bored with salads pretty quickly, and I never have enough fruit (or time to prepare it) for a pie, so I quickly turned to rustic tarts. They're all the rage in the blogs I follow.
Tomato tart
My housemate, S, brought yellow tomatoes from home.

The idea is that you make a small pie crust, set it on your baking sheet, add your filling to the middle (leaving an inch or two around the edge), and fold the edge over so the filling stays put. It can be as pretty or as goopy as you have the patience for. You can use any fruit or any pie crust you want, including puff pastry if you have it on hand. My current favorite crust makes a big enough circle for about one whole large fruit (tomato, in this case) or one and a half smaller fruit (medium sized pears).

The crust recipe I've been using, slightly modified, can be found at Eating Well. I didn't add the sugar or the oil for my pear tart, but I did add extra butter until the crumbles stuck together a little better. I added olive oil for the tomato tart (still no sugar; this is lunch, not dessert).
The olive oil makes the dough much crumblier, but it rolls out very nicely and hardly sticks to the wax paper.

I didn't use a recipe for the filling of the tomato tart, but I will attempt to provide one anyway. I also didn't take pictures along the way; sorry!

Rustic Tomato Tart

  • 2-serving tart crust
  • 2 small tomatoes (or 1 medium)
  • 1 oz mild cheese, like mozzarella
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 leaves basil, minced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Pinch salt
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Roll the tart crust into a rough circle until it's pretty thin, but not so thin that it breaks all the time. Set it on a baking sheet.
Quarter the tomatoes, the cut each quarter into 4 slices. Do this as you lay the slices on the tart crust, since you might have too much tomato.
Set the tomatoes in a visually pleasing pattern on the crust, leaving about 1.5 inches around the edge.
Crumble the cheese over the tomatoes. I just got fresh-ish goat cheddar curds at a famers' market, but you might not be so lucky. Mozzarella or soft goat cheese would work great as well.
Sprinkle the basil over the tomatoes and cheese. Use as much or as little as you like, and add other herbs as you please. I didn't have any other herbs. Also, don't be like me and forget about the garlic you have in your pantry. Chop up a small clove (or big if that's what you like) and toss it on.
Gently fold the crust over the tomatoes. Don't worry about tearing it, just pat it down after you finish. If it's stuck to the pan, use a spatula to pry it up. It's supposed to be open-faced, so the crust shouldn't cover all the tomatoes.
Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and crust.
Sprinkle very lightly with salt.
Bake 20-30 minutes, or until crust is a light brown.
Let cool for about 5 minutes.

I'll be honest, I haven't made a tart since I wrote this ages ago until today. But I was inspired by my italian prunes (NOT plums, believe you me, these are prunes). Prunes bake up really lovely, especially in single-layer tarts, where they turn all jammy with chewy skins. I didn't even use sugar at all, or any spices, and it was DELICIOUS.

So yeah, tarts!

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