Heirloom Cherry Tomato Tart

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Tart


Tomato Tart

Heirloom Cherry Tomato Tart
updated from the TasteFood archives, because it’s on the menu tonight:

Early September brings beautiful tomatoes, their sunny colors cheerily keeping autumn at bay, reminding us that summer is not yet finished.  Sweet, juicy, sunkissed heirlooms, early girls, and cherries promise to bring a little sunshine to our dinner plates while the days grow shorter, cooler and crisper.

This Tomato Tart is an easy, light dinner for a busy weekday night that takes advantage of the kaleidescope of cherry tomatoes falling in our gardens and showcased in the market. The tart’s ease of preparation is, in part, due to the usage of store-bought frozen puff pastry dough.  I confess that as much as I try to homemake everything, homemade pastry (unless made well ahead of time and frozen) doesn’t conveniently figure into a spontaneous week night meal.  Fortunately, high quality frozen pastry dough is available in many stores.  I buy mine at Whole Foods, and while the price is not cheap, I see it as a break-even when considering the cost of the ingredients and time I would need to make it myself.  However, if you do have time on your side (lucky you!) and would like to make your own pastry, one of my go-to recipes for quick puff pastry is from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Pie and Pastry Bible.


Heirloom Cherry Tomato Tart
Serves 4 as a light meal or 6-8 as a side dish

1 sheet (11 oz./300 g.) frozen puff-pastry dough, thawed
1 1/2 pounds (750 g.) cherry tomatoes, multi-colored if possible, halved lengthwise
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspons fresh marjoram

Prepare tart:
Preheat oven to 400 F. (200 C.)
Roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness on a lightly floured surface.  Pierce dough all over with a fork, leaving a 1 inch border intact.  Transfer dough to a parchment-lined baking tray and refrigerate 15 minutes.
Bake in oven until lightly golden, 12-15 minutes.  Remove from oven, but do not turn off heat.
Arrange tomato halves, cut-side up, on crust, leaving the 1″ border clear. Drizzle tart with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Return to oven and bake 15-20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.  Remove tart from oven, and transfer to serving platter.  Garnish with fresh marjoram (or basil) and serve immediately.

For a complete rustic meal serve with a wedge of soft, runny Camembert or Taleggio cheese, thick slices of pain paysan and a salad of mixed seasonal greens.

Spring Pea and Ricotta Torte with Lemon and Mint

Spring Pea and Ricotta Torte with Lemon and Mint

I love peas.  They are nature’s superior answer to fast food, popped straight from the shell into the mouth. No plastic packaging, no coloring nor additives. I also enjoy them cooked, but in our house they rarely last long enough to make it to the cooking stage. When I do manage to put some aside, I love to purée them and  serve as an accompaniment to shellfish, or keep them whole, tossed into pastas and risottos. This torte has a little of both. Fresh peas are cooked in butter with shallots and then divided. Half remain intact and the other half are puréed with ricotta to form the base for this colorful springtime egg dish.

Spring Pea and Ricotta Torte with Lemon and Mint

The unmistakable sweetness of the peas is amplified by cooking and can overpower the eggs and ricotta, so I like to balance their sweetness with tangy lemon zest, lots of salty Italian cheese and fresh mint. This dish may be served warm or at room temperature. I find that by letting the torte cool to room temperature, the flavors mellow and smooth into each other in a very appealing way.
Serves 8.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup
2 cups shelled peas
salt
1/4 cup water or chicken stock
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup finely grated young Pecorino cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter a 9 inch springform pan and wrap bottom with foil to prevent any leakage. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots and cook until softened, one minute. Add peas and 1 teaspoon salt; sauté briefly to coat. Add water or stock, and cook until peas are tender and liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer half of the peas to a bowl of a food processor; puree. Add ricotta and nutmeg; pulse to blend. Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Transfer to a bowl. Whisk in creme fraiche, 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheese. Stir in remaining peas, mint, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Pour eggs into prepared springform pan. Sprinkle top with extra Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Bake in oven until edges are golden brown and center is puffed and cooked through, about 30-35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Easy Late Summer Dinner: Tomato Tart

Easy Late Summer Dinner: Tomato Tart

Tomato Tart

Early September brings beautiful tomatoes, their sunny colors cheerily keeping autumn at bay, reminding us that summer is not yet finished.  Sweet, juicy, sunkissed heirlooms, early girls, and cherries promise to bring a little sunshine to our dinner plates while the days grow shorter, cooler and crisper.

This tomato tart is an easy, light dinner for a busy weekday night that takes advantage of the kaleidescope of cherry tomatoes falling in our gardens and showcased in the market. The tart’s ease of preparation is, in part, due to the usage of store-bought frozen puff pastry dough.  I confess that as much as I try to homemake everything, homemade pastry (unless made well ahead of time and frozen) doesn’t conveniently figure into a spontaneous week night meal.  Fortunately, high quality frozen pastry dough is available in many stores.  I buy mine at Whole Foods, and while the price is not cheap, I see it as a break-even when considering the cost of the ingredients and time I would need to make it myself.


Tomato Tart
Serves 4 as a light meal or 6-8 as a side dish

1 sheet (11 oz./300 g.) frozen puff-pastry dough, thawed
1 1/2 lbs. (750 g.) cherry tomatoes, multi-colored if possible, halved lengthwise
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh marjoram

Prepare tart:
Preheat oven to 400 F. (200 C.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness.  Pierce dough all over with a fork, leaving a 1″ border in tact.  Transfer dough to a parchment-lined baking tray and refrigerate 15 minutes.
Bake in oven until lightly golden, 12-15 minutes.  Remove from oven, but do not turn off heat.

Arrange tomato halves, cut-side up, on crust, leaving the 1″ border clear. Drizzle tart with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Return to oven and bake 15-20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.  Remove tart from oven, and transfer to serving platter.  Garnish with fresh marjoram (or basil) and serve immediately.

For a complete rustic meal serve with a wedge of soft, runny Camembert or Saint Nectaire cheese, thick slices of pain paysan and a salad of mixed seasonal greens.