Roasted Tomato Tart
Well, it’s September now, and the last of the summer veggies are getting picked in preparation for fall. While I love fall, I do feel a bit sad about the end of summer.
This year I did an herb garden again, which I got lots of use out of. Parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil, and mint kept me pretty happy all summer long. I love the taste of fresh basil on pasta or parsley in with my falafel sandwich.
Recently, our lovely neighbours have been kind enough to give us a bunch of tomatoes from their garden. The first batch we were given was promptly made into a fantastic tomato sauce, to which I added lots of garlic, shallots, basil and oregano, then simmered for an hour or so until it was ready for serving over sphaghetti. I even had enough left over to grace a pizza crust a few days later.
The second batch, however, sat on our counter for a few days until I could think of something creative to do with it. I thought perhaps I’d make some tomato, basil and bocconcini salad, but I just didn’t really feel like having that. Bruschetta also crossed my mind, but it was too similar to the pizza we’d just had. Then I was skimming some of the many food blogs I read, and came across a post from Ron Eade of the Ottawa Citizen, which mentioned a tomato tart recipe. I instantly knew what I was going to do with those tomatoes.
Roasted Tomato and Cheddar Tart
This would be delicious with a variety of cheeses. Parmesan would be more traditionally Italian and give a slightly different texture. Mozzarella would be stringy and more mild than the cheddar. Gruyère would also be lovely. I used cheddar because it was what I had in the house already. It’s fun to experiment!
For pie crust:
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled vegetable shortening
3 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water
6 cloves of garlic, roasted (link to directions below)
1 lb tomatoes, roasted (directions below)
1/2 cup grated mild or medium cheddar, divided
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
To make crust:
1. Mix together flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Cut shortening into small pieces and then cut it into the flour mixture with a fork or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Add in 2 tablespoons of water, and mix gently. If needed, add in more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough just comes together and is moist.
4. Shape dough into a ball and then roll out to desired thickness. Place into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate and fill as directed below.
To make tart:
1. Roast tomatoes in advance: cut tomatoes into large chunks and put onto a cookie sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little oil, and roast in a 400F oven for 1 hour. If you need to roast your garlic as well, it can be done at the same time. Easy instructions for roasting garlic are over here.
2. Chop 6 cloves roasted garlic into smaller pieces and evenly distribute them over the bottom of the pie crust. On top of this, place half the cheddar cheese.
3. Arrange the roasted tomatoes on top of the garlic and cheese. Sprinkle with the thyme, then the remaining cheddar cheese. Top with the olive oil and salt and pepper.
4. Fold edges of the pie crust down over the filling to seal them in (see picture).
5. Bake in a 400F oven for 45 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the cheese is bubbly.
Serves 4 with a side salad or 2 if you’re lazy and can’t be bothered to make a salad.