thick, juicy slices of deep red summer tomatoes
artfully sprinkled with sea salt
dribble down our chins
and splash onto shiny gold and white Formica
a summer celebration
begin with a base of zesty pepper – parmesan crust. top it with a layer of light, fluffy chèvre from Bow, Washington’s Gothberg Farms. and then a layer of basil-pecan pesto. finally, a layer of gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, roasted low and slow in the oven. that’s the heirloom tomato tart. poetic, indeed.
missing the mother-daughter tomato-eating ritual this summer, ma. can’t say the same for your ’50s-chic Formica.
Roasted Heirloom Tomato Tart
a mashup of recipes adapted from epicurious and Ashleigh Rodriguez’s beautiful not without salt blog
makes one 9-inch tart
roast the tomatoes in advance
2 – 3 firm, medium-size heirloom tomatoes (this may leave you with extra slices, but that’s not a bad thing)
for the crust
1 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 stick good-quality butter, very cold, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups grated parmesan (i use Parrano)
2 tablespoons ice water
for the pesto (this will leave enough left over for pasta!)
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup pecans (or nuts of your choice)
2/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano, coarsely ground (again, i use Parrano)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups loosely packed, fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
for the rest
8 oz chèvre at room temperature
fleur del sel
freshly cracked pepper
- preheat oven to 225F
- cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- slice tomatoes ¼-inch thick; place on baking sheet.
- drizzle olive oil lightly over tomatoes; sprinkle lightly with salt.
- roast tomatoes for approximately 4 hours or, as Ashleigh instructs, until shriveled around the edge while still maintaining a bit of juice.
- refrigerate the tomatoes in a container overnight.
- day two, prepare the crust.
- in the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, pepper, butter, and cheese, pulsing quickly to get a coarse texture, with some pea-size butter pieces remaining.
- with a few speedy pulses, incorporate the ice water until the dough begins to form and sticks together, when pinched between your fingers.
- press dough into your tart pan, evenly across the bottom and up until you reach the top of the sides.
- chill the dough in the frig for 15 minutes.
- preheat the oven to 350F.
- remove the tart pan from the frig, and prick a few times with a fork.
- cover the tart with non-stick foil, and fill with pie weights or dry beans.
- place the tart on a baking sheet, then on the middle oven rack.
- bake for 15 minutes.
- remove tart from oven, and carefully remove the foil and pie weights (these will be hot!).
- return the uncovered tart to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown; let cool completely.
- to make the pesto, drop the garlic into a bowl of a food processor and finely chop.
- stop the food processor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil; process until finely chopped.
- add lemon juice.
- with motor running, add olive oil, blending until incorporated; set aside.
- now for assembly!
- spread an even layer of chèvre over the surface of the cooled tart shell.
- spread an even layer of pesto over the chèvre.
- top the chèvre with as many roasted heirloom tomato slices as you deem artistically appropriate.
- top with sprinkles of fleur de sel and freshly cracked pepper.
toss on a few basil leaves, and call it good. very good.