Saturday, July 28, 2012

And the Livin' Is Easy: Tomato Tart

About mid-way through the summer, I get really sick of cooking.  Unfortunately, this always coincides more or less with tomato season, during which a CSA member must cook early and often, or face rotten tomatoes.  I've never really canned food, partly because I have an inexplicable fear of the process, and partly because canned things remind me of my mother's basement, which, unlike our basement or pantry, is well-stocked for the next nuclear fallout, and covered in a quarter-inch-thick layer of dust.

Luckily, tomatoes are often best when they're not cooked, so we end to eat lots of tomato and cream cheese sandwiches, and tomato salads.

There's also something like this, which is ridiculously easy and comes together in less than half an hour, even though it looks like you labored over it.  If you didn't want to be a cheater, you could make your own puff pastry, or use home-made pizza dough.  But who wants to do that?

What are your favorite ways to use fresh tomatoes from your garden or farm?

Fancy Tomato Tart

tomatoes, 5-6, sliced about 1/4" thick and laid on paper towels to dry a bit
cherry tomatoes, 6-7, halved, for color
fresh basil, about 6 leaves, cut in chiffonade
fresh parmesan, grated, about 1/2 c.
puff pastry, 1 sheet, thawed! (takes about 40 minutes)

Preheat oven to 400F.  On a sheet of parchment, roll out puff pastry a bit so that it's slightly larger than it was when you unfolded it.  Bake pastry for about 15-18 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with a small amount of the grated cheese.  Lay tomatoes in a decorative pattern on top of the pastry, pressing slightly so they don't fall off.  Top with more cheese and fresh basil.
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  1. I eat them raw. But I'll eat them any which way. I LOVE tomatoes.

    I am terrified of the canning process too! We get a period in August when the tomatoes are growing too fast. Last year, I made a bunch of them into sauce and then froze it. I made pizzas with the sauce for a couple of months. They were good.

  2. I love to slow-roast tomatoes, and then you can freeze them or just keep them in the fridge for throwing in salads or sauces or on top of pasta.

    I use Nigella Lawson's "moonblush tomatoes" recipe, which says to halve cherry tomatoes (it might not work so well with bigger ones, I think), sprinkle them with a little oil, salt, a pinch of sugar, and thyme, and put them in a 400 degree oven - then turn the oven off and don't open it till tomorrow morning.

  3. Oh, that looks GOOD. I don't try a lot of recipes that I read online...but I think I might try this one.

  4. If it ever cools off enough that I'm willing to turn on the oven, this looks divine!

  5. I LOVE tomato season. My partner makes a mean no cook tomato pasta and a cooked tomato sause (for when we have more tomatoes than we know what to do with). I also love tomato, basil and mozzarella paninis as well. It's funny, I didn't use to like tomatoes very much and now I'm a big fan. This is my absolutely favorite time of year to get the box. ;)

  6. I have a plain old tomato sandwich. I never thought about eating it with cream cheese. That sounds good. I will have to try it now.

  7. I don't care for tomatoes raw or cooked. I do really like a lot of kinds of spaghetti and pizza sauces, as long as the consistency works for me (isn't chunky).

    Consistency of food is an issue for me. For instance I love roasted potatoes, au gratin, french fries and chips. But I don't care for mashed potatoes or baked.


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