|Heirloom Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese|
This coming weekend is the Tomato Festival at Sunshine Farms, you will hear more about that later. Last year we had such a good time that we signed up right away when tickets were offered. In hind site I have been dreaming of beautiful heirloom Tomatoes since then and am beside myself with happiness that they are once again in season. I have been enjoying them for weeks now. With so many recipe choices swirling around in my mind this weekend I opted for a luscious French-style tomato Tart. With pastry in the freezer and a little time on my hands I started eying those heirloom tomatoes sunbathing on the kitchen counter.
This tart features a rustic crust slathered with freshly made pesto, layered with juicy slices of ripe, heirloom tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, then topped with rounds of Goat Cheese. Just prior to sliding the tart into the oven you can add a generous drizzle of honey as David Lebovitz does in his infamous French tart. It is totally up to you. This recipe was loosely based on his tart but as always I offered my own spin and instead of mustard added a basil pesto. In my mind there is no better pairing for a ripe, sun kissed tomatoes than basil.
I opted for making 4 small tarts rather than a single large tart. Perfect for individual servings. The kaleidoscope of colours of heirloom tomatoes made them pop visually. Next time however I would blind bake the pastry crusts in the oven first and then add the tomatoes afterwards so that they stay more true to their nature. But this recipe was perfect for what it is.
"Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup" Eat well, laugh often, love abundantly.
**Heirloom Tomato Tart**
For the Tart:
Your favourite recipe for a two crust pie, chilled in the refrigerator
4 tablespoons pesto (recipe below)
3 large ripe tomatoes or 5 medium tomatoes, preferably heirloom
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces fresh goat cheese, sliced into rounds
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tablespoons honey (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
15 walnut halves
2 medium cloves of garlic
4 cups gently packed Italian basil leaves
1/2 cup or more freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper
Approximately 1 1/2 cups olive oil
Preheat oven to 425.
To make the pesto: Add pine nuts, walnuts, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
Add basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil in processor while pulsing.
Gradually add remaining oil pulsing until smooth (you may not need the remaining cup or may wish for more depending on your preferred texture of the pesto). This recipe will make enough for not only this recipe but you will have plenty left over for another use.
To make the tart: David Lebovitz says, "Tear off a large piece of wax paper or parchment paper and add a little bit of flour to it. Transfer the dough ball to the floured parchment paper. With your hands, press the dough ball slightly flat into a disc to make it easier to roll out. Sprinkle additional flour on top of dough. Tear off a second piece of wax/parchment paper and place on top of dough. With your dough sandwiched between two layers of parchment paper, roll it out large enough to fit into your tart pan. Transfer to pan, pressing the dough on the bottom of the pan and up along the sides, making sure not to pull the dough, which can cause the crust to shrink. Trim any excess dough. I always, and I mean always, roll dough between pieces of parchment paper with a bit of flour (or powdered sugar, depending on the dough). This helps to prevent the dough from sticking and me from hyperventilating."
Spread the 4 tablespoons of pesto over the bottom of the crust. Pat the tomatoes dry with a paper towel and place them (or a few more or less depending on space) on top of the pesto in a single layer. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan cheese over tomatoes, add a little salt and pepper, then drizzle 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil on top. Arrange the goat cheese rounds on top of the tomatoes, sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese. Optional - Drizzle two tablespoons (or more!) of honey on top.
Bake the tart for 30-35 minutes, checking at the half-way point to make sure the crust doesn’t brown too quickly and also to dab away (with a paper towel) any excess water from the tomatoes. If the tart is browning too quickly, cover the tart with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper. Finish the tart under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the goat cheese, but watch closely to make sure the tart doesn’t burn.
Allow to cool slightly. Enjoy!
The recipe above will make a standard 9- or 10-inch tart. You can use a tart pan with a removable bottom or bake in individual dishes as I did here. There does nit seem to be any difference in baking time, but watch them carefully.
|Heirloom Tomato Tart|
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