26 August 2014

When Life Hands You Tomatoes, Make Tarts

My new foodie-love is the tart.

More specifically tomato tarts.
First up, is the Rustic Tomato Tart.

Here's the beauty of the crust on this tart:
First of all, it has an egg in it to hold it together.

Second, if you roll it out on a silicon mat, you
can keep it there.  You don't have to pick it up
and risk it tearing like you would with, say, a pie.
Automatic "plus" for this recipe.

(Sorry, forgot to rotate this pic before I uploaded it!)

The next plus is that you get to use up some of the
5 million tomatoes you have hanging around.
Oh, wait...is that just me?

(This is how my kitchen often looks during these 
months.  My family probably gets pretty sick of it.)

 And herbs.  It calls for dried herbs.  Why use 
dry when the herb gardens runneth over??

(About 1/30 of the herb population around here.)

Most of the year, we use only fresh herbs.
And in liberal quantities!

(For kicks, here's a typical summer scenario on my island.
Operation "Canning Italian-Style Tomatoes" is in progress.  
Oh, the smells in the kitchen that day!  But, I'm getting off-topic...)  

Another tip for this recipe is to make sure you use 
good quality mozzarella.  Because we make a lot
of Chicago-style pizza around here, I have some real 
issues with water-y mozzarella.  This wasn't 
too bad but I've found something better since.

I've discovered that my local grocery store
not only makes their own in the store, but they even
sell it in roll-out sheets--PERFECT for this tart.
Someday I'll make my own mozzarella but for now
this discovery has made me happy.

Check out the cheesy yumminess.
Another point I have to make on this recipe is that
I found the crust a little salty.  
And, though the crust was good, 
I was thinking it could be better.
What can I say?  I'm a picky crust person.
The recipe was so easy, however, that it's worth keeping.
It also seems very flexible
so I'm sure I'll be trying variations.
Maybe add a little Italian sausage?

Let's face it, 99% of the recipes floating around
out there have lost their origination.  I print this here
for your convenience but please know it is not mine
and can be found here...and this person didn't 
create it either.  Such is the way with recipes!

Can't wait to share the next tart recipe I found!
See ya tomorrow.

Rustic Tomato Tart 
1 1/2 c flour
4 T butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 t salt (I'd stick to 1/4 t or just use unsalted butter)
1 large egg
2-3 T cold water
3 T Dijon or whole-grain mustard
2-3 large fresh tomatoes 0r 5 Roma tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
2 t dried herbs (I used fresh basil, Italian parsley and oregano)
kosher salt
pinch of red pepper flakes 
8 oz good quality fresh mozzarella  

For crust: Mix salt and flour in medium bowl. With pastry cutter cut in chilled butter until mixture has a cornmeal consistency. (I did this part in a food processor--I don't have all day!)
In separate bowl, lightly beat egg; add 2 Tablespoons water.
Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour egg mixture in the well; mix until well incorporated and a non-sticky dough forms. If dough is still too dry, add third tablespoon of water.
Knead dough into a ball, transfer to parchment paper or a Silpat; roll out into a 14" circle. Transfer parchment paper or Silpat and dough to a rimmed baking sheet.
For Filling: Spread mustard over the unbaked crust until well covered, leaving about an 1 1/2-inch border.
Slice tomatoes and arrange in a single layer in the center of crust. Scatter freshly minced garlic over tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt, red pepper flakes and dried herbs.
Top with sliced mozzarella; sprinkle with a bit more salt, pepper flakes and basil.
Bring edges of crust up over the edges of tomato and cheese.
Bake in 425' oven for 30 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is brown and bubbly.
Allow to cool about 10 minutes, slice into wedges with a pizza cutter and enjoy!

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