If you're wondering what to do with the bounty of tomatoes from your garden, try making them into this delicious tomato tart. It's fairly easy to make, just a bit time consuming only because the crust has to rest in the refrigerator for 45 minutes, then again for 20 minutes before blind baking it. To make things easier, you could use a store-bought crust but if you have the time, this homemade version is well worth the trouble. Just plan accordingly and you'll be fine.
I've made this tart twice and have experimented with the crust's ingredients and the one I'm sharing here is what I believe to be the best option. It calls for all-purpose flour and yellow corn meal but I replaced some of the flour and corn meal with whole-wheat pastry flour which made it, one: easier to work with, and two: a tastier, more crumbly crust.
The first time I made this I used two large Purple Cherokee heirloom tomatoes.
The second time I used a variety of heirloom tomatoes which gave it this glorious array of colors. However, I went a bit overboard and used too many tomatoes which took away slightly from the rest of the flavors of the tart. It was still wonderful, but next time I will stick to only two layers of tomatoes no matter how beautiful they look.
I think I will still make this tart in winter and spring even if I don't have garden fresh tomatoes because it is so good. I will probably use vine ripe or hot house tomatoes which are acceptable alternatives when garden tomatoes are unavailable because roasting them does improve their taste. I'm not into canning my tomatoes yet, but I'm sure that would work just fine. :)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 Tablespoons freshly grated parmesan-reggiano cheese
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 1/4 pounds fresh garden tomatoes
1 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon breadcrumbs
3 Tablespoons each - chopped fresh chives and fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground pepper
To make the crust: Pulse flours, cornmeal and fine salt in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and 3 Tablespoons of parm-reggiano cheese; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with pea-size bits of butter. Drizzle in 4 Tablespoons of ice water and pulse until the dough comes together; add 1 more Tablespoon ice water if necessary. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a disk with more plastic wrap on top. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
Keeping the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, roll or press it into a 13-inch round disk. Transfer the dough to a 9 1/2 inch deep pie/tart plate. Fold the overhang under itself and crimp the edges. Pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line the crust with foil, then fill with dried beans (this is blind baking!). Bake until the edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking until golden all over about 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
To make the filling: Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until golden about 15 minutes. Let cool. Meanwhile, thinly slice tomatoes, toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a colander. Let drain, gently tossing occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Increase the oven temp to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the Asiago cheese, 2 Tablespoons of parm-reggiano, mayo, breadcrumbs, 2 Tablespoons each chives and parsley, the thyme, 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper and the sautéed onions. Spread in the crust. Arrange the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil, 1 Tablespoon of parm-reggiano cheese and season with pepper. Bake until tomatoes are browned, about 40-50 minutes. Top with remaining chopped chives and parsley.
"The Greatest Wealth is Health" - Roman Poet Virgil
"Let Food be thy Medicine and Medicine be thy Food." - Hippocrates