I was so bummed when I realized last Tuesday snuck up on me without creating a beans and greens post for Summerfest. I vowed not to let the same thing happen this week because this week is all about my favorite fruit/vegetable of all time, drum roll please............the Tomato! It's true, if I had to pick one thing in the fruit and vegetable category as my favorite, it would be the tomato every time. From salads to soups to sauces to this tart, for me it might be the most perfect food. Sure, I could go on and on about the tomato but I'll cut it short and get to why you are all really here, the recipe.
This is something that was inspired by an Iron Chef episode when Chef Art Smith took on Iron Chef Cat Cora in Battle Cheddar and made a delicious look Cheddar & Tomato Pie. He didn't win the battle, sorry if it's a spoiler but it aired awhile ago but that Tomato and Cheddar Pie has stuck with me every since. It appeared to be a bit on the sweet side, while I decided to make my tart more savory, it only seemed right to give a nod to my inspiration.
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup aged cheddar - grated
1 Tbsp white vinegar
5 Tbsp iced cold water
1. Cut shortening, sea salt and flour together with a pastry cutter or two knives. When it resembles a coarse meal, gently mix in grated cheese.
2. Whisk together water, vinegar and the egg. Pour into flour mixture and mix until dough forms a ball. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Roasted Tomato & Cheddar Tart
4-5 medium sized tomatoes
3/4 cup 3 year old cheddar
10 sprigs of fresh thyme - leave removed from stems
extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice tomatoes into 1/4" - 1/2" rounds. Make sure you have enough to cover a 10" tart. Place rounds on prepared sheet sprinkle with sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and olive oil. Roast for 30 mins until the edges begin to blacken ever so slightly.
2. Remove from oven and let cool to handle. Roll out 1/2 of the cheddar crust (reserve the rest for another use) into a round large enough for a 10" tart pan. Press into pan and prick all over with a fork. Place tart pan onto a cookie sheet cover with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or rice or dried beans. Place in heated oven and bake for 15 mins. Remove foil and weights and bake for another 7 mins.
3. Remove tart shell from oven and cover bottom with almost all of the cheddar and 1/2 of the thyme leaves, reserve a Tbsp or 2 to sprinkle on top. Place back in the oven and bake for another 10 mins until cheese has melted and begins to brown slightly.
4. Remove from oven and lay tomatoes in a overlapping pattern. Top with remaining thyme leaves and cheddar. Bake for another 10 mins. Remove from oven, let cool to room temperature before serving.
The roasted tomato is what makes this tart work. They are so rich and flavorful and not at all soggy. I think alot of the flavor can also be attributed to the fact that they are perfectly fresh, grown right in my own backyard. The very first of our tomato harvest! I loved the cheddar crust, so deliciously savory that I will likely adapt it for my next apple pie. All in all I'm a fan of this one. One note, resist the urge to add more salt to the finished tart, between the cheese and the salt used to roast the tomatoes no more salt is needed. I think a drizzling of olive oil would be nice, but it truly was exactly what I was going for as is.
Don't forget to check out what the other Summerfest hosts did this week:
Matt Armendariz of Mattbites
Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen
Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple
with guest appearances from:
Shauna and Daniel Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl
Simmer Till Done’s Marilyn Pollack Naron
Paige Smith Orloff of The Sister Project.