Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cheddar & Tomato Tarts

We have a slew of tomatoes growing in the backyard.

So many green ones that I'm just waiting to turn red.  I can't even explain it.

I haven't been posting garden updates lately because I've been swamped at work and weekends have been devoting to preserving the amazing produce I've been finding at local farmer's markets.

But last week when Bon Appetit linked to this recipe from the most recent issue on their facebook page, I knew that I had to make it with tomatoes from the garden.

Cheese and tomatoes, I mean seriously?!  Two of my favorite food combined into one of my favorite methods of delivery, a pie!  Well it jumped to the top of my list and while I was at the grocery store this weekend I picked up the issue because it has an article on preserving AND an article on summer pies, inaddition to the tomato article that this recipe comes from.  I swear to god the editors of Bon Appetit were thinking of me specifically when they put out this issue.

What do you mean they don't even know who I am?

Anyway, I got home before the boy on Monday night and was feeling inspired to make a delicious weeknight meal.  I had planned on some type of frittata or breakfast for dinner, but we were having these random bought os intense rain, giving the air a coolness that made me feel like turning on the oven.  I glanced over this recipe again, something I had wanted to save for a weekend when I had more time, but I looked at the recipe again since it was seriously haunting me and I had just a pound of tomatoes from the garden and realized I could make it happen this night.

I have to say this is the first time I didn't freestyle a recipe in awhile.  It just sounded so good and without planning for it I had everything I needed on hand.  The only thing I did was half the recipe and convert it from a pie, into four 4" tarts, since I had mini-tart pans.  Seriously though, the full recipe would work beautifully as brunch dish, ladies lunch in place of quiche or a dinner.  Perfect for a rainy late summer day or even as you get into the cooler nights of fall.

The Boy commented when he walked into the baking cheese scented house, that he missed the smell of things in the oven.  Especially since most things I make in there are of the rich and cheesy variety.  This was no exception, incredibly rich but so satisfying.  It went perfectly with some dilly beans! and an arugula salad with fresh blackberries.

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Tomato & Cheddar Tarts
I had to half this recipe, so I turned it into 4 little tarts, as opposed to the large pie the original recipe called for.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbsps butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 lb assorted ripe tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cup sharp cheddar - grated
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano - grated
  • 1/2 scallion - trimmed & chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp chopped dill
  • 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/4 Tbsp cornmeal
1. Whisk first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut or rub in butter until coarse meal forms and some small lumps remain. Stir in buttermilk and knead gently with your hands until dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for 1 hour or 30 minutes in the freezer.2. While the dough chills, lay the sliced tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with 2 layers of paper towels. Place another 2 layers of paper towels on top of tomatoes. Let stand for 30 minutes to drain.3. Preheat oven to 425°. Divide the dough into 4 equal balls. Roll each ball out, on a lightly floured surface, into a 6" round. Transfer into tart pans and trim excess dough as necessary. 4. Toss both cheeses in a medium bowl until evenly incorporated. Reserve 2 Tbsps of cheese mixture. Whisk scallion, mayonnaise, dill, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.5. Sprinkle cornmeal evenly over bottom of each crust, then top with 1 Tbsps of cheese mixture for each tart. Arrange tomatoes over cheese, overlapping slightly to cover the bottom of the crust. Divide half of mayonnaise mixture over all 4 tarts. Repeat layering with 1 cup of cheese mixture, 1/2 of remaining tomato slices, and remaining mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsps cheese mixture over each tart, then divide the remaining tomato slices. Sprinkle with reserved cheese mixture. 6. Place the tarts on a baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden and cheese is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let tarts cool at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours before serving.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 four inch tarts

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