Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How do I love thee, tomato?

It is July in Tennessee, and that means tomatoes.
Lots of them!
Cherokee purple, Bradley, yellow, green, orange and every shade in between.  I love tomatoes.  Love them simply sliced with a sprinkle of salt.  Love them between two slices of fluffy oatmeal bread.  Love them in salad, love them in pie, love 'em fried.
Seriously, it's hard to mess up a tomato for me.
We had a nice round-up of Brandywine tomatoes from the Amish Farm stand down the road, and I had a tomato tart recipe that had been dog-eared for awhile.
And so with a few bowls of tomatoes ripening on the counter, I decided time was a-wastin'.
The recipe calls for both red and yellow tomatoes--we only had red, with small yellow grape tomatoes, and that turned out just lovely.  While we used Fontina cheese in this (and we had some kinda funky with a capital F fontina cheese), I think Gruyere would be a wonderful choice as well.  One more thought: to make the dough you process the corn, lemon juice and sour cream and then add it to the dry ingredients.  Next time I make this I'm going to make sure I have about a 1/2 or so cup of whole corn kernels to add to the batter as well, I think it would add a nice texture contrast...and it's yummy.

Rustic Tomato Tart (adapted from cooking light)

2 large red tomatoes
Handful of baby or grape yellow tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
Kernels from two ears of corn - Fresh!
Juice from half a lemon
3 heaping tablespoons sour cream
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 cup white cornmeal
1/4 cup cold cold cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon cornmeal
Handful of fresh basil leaves, julienned
1/2 cup Fontina or Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons AP flour
Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Set tomato slices onto double layer of paper towels.  Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp or so of salt.  Leave them while you make the dough.

Pour corn, lemon juice, and sour cream into food processor, process until smooth.
In a separate bowl whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, the 1/4 cup of cornmeal and 1/4 tsp of salt.  Add the butter pieces and combine with your fingers until you have something resembling a coarse meal.  Add in the corn mixture and stir just to combine.  Turn out onto a clean surface and knead a few times.

Place two slightly overlapping sheets of saran wrap onto counter.  Place dough on saran wrap.  Press dough out into roughly 6 inch circle.  Place two more sheets of  plastic onto dough and roll out into 14 inch circle.  Place dough into fridge for 10-15 minutes.  Use this time to clean up the kitchen!  Also, go ahead and blot the excess moisture from the tomatoes with paper towel.  Also, go ahead and grate up the cheese and slice the basil if you haven't done that already.

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon  cornmeal on the baking sheet.  Now take the dough out of the fridge and place it on the baking sheet (I know you're not dummies, but take the plastic wrap off the dough before you put it on the baking sheet).

Sprinkle the cheese and basil on the dough, leaving about a 1 1/2 inch border.  Combine the 2 tablespoons of flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a little cup.  Sprinkle about half of the flour/salt mixture on top of the cheese.  Now arrange - artfully- half of the tomato slices on the cheese.  Sprinkle the rest of the flour on top of the tomatoes.  Now place the rest of the tomatoes on top of that.  Fold the edges of the dough toward the center--it's rustic, so don't worry about it being perfect, and it's not going to nearly cover all the tomatoes.

Place in over for about 35 minutes, until nicely browned.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Slice, and serve with a nice glass of Pinot Gris.

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