Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let's Get Tarty

I've got my sliding glass door open to let in all that glorious fall air.

There's hot coffee in my cup.

It's promising to rain this weekend.

I. Love. It.

I know it's weird to like the "gloomy" weather... but seriously?  What do you have against fall?  You aren't sweating through your pants when you sit on leather seats.  You don't have to worry about your hair bleaching out in the sun.  You save moola by not using any air conditioning (can I get an amen?).  IT SMELLS GOOD.


And tomatoes are in season.  Like... WAY in season.  As in they are eh-vuhr-ee-ware.  I'm not mad at it.

With all the things to do with tomatoes, I am starting out with a tart recipe.  All that comfort food you eat in fall kind of comes together in one dish.  I mean... corn crust, cheese, caramelized onion, heirloom tomatoes... do I have you yet?

Pulsing the dry ingredients, I day-dreamed of running through leaves...

Forming the crust I imagined roasting pumpkins seeds...

While the onions sauteed, I yearned for spiced cider and candy corn...

Heirloom tomatoes drained at the same time I wished for chilly weekends in Brown County...


But the smell of that tart eclipsed absolutely everything when it was baking... let alone when it came out of the oven and into my belly.

Enjoy fall, kids.  Eat it up!

Heirloom Tomato Tart
From my friends at Food Network Magazine

The Crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons shredded fontina cheese

  • 1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, cornmeal and salt.  Add the butter and 3 tablespoons of fontina cheese, then pulse until it is just combined and pea-sized crumbs form.  With the food processor running, drizzle in 4 tablespoons of ice water and pulse just until the dough starts to come together.  Drizzle in 1 more tablespoon of ice water if necessary.  

  • 2. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a disk.  Wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.  

  • 3. Put the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll into a a 13-inch round disk.  Transfer the disk to a 9" pie plate.  Fold the overhand under itself and either crimp the edges or press with the tines of a fork (they're both pretty).  Pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork and refrigerate for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  • 4. Line the crust with foil and pie weights (or dried beans, pennies, etc.).  This will prevent your crust from puffing up.  Bake until your edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and pie weights and bake for 10-15 minutes longer.  Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool.

  • The Filling

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 large vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/4 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes
  • sea salt
  • 3/4 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons Italian breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm up1 tablespoon of EVOO.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (onions should caramelize).  Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwhile, thinly slice the tomatoes and toss with 1 teaspoon sea salt in a colander.  Let drain, tossing gently once, for about 30 minutes.  

  • 2. Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees.  Mix together the fontina, mozzarella, mayonnaise and breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons each of the chives, parsley and thyme, then season with salt and pepper.  Add in the sauteed onion and fold together until combined.  Spread the mixture into the bottom of the crust.  Arrange the tomatoes on top.  Drizzle over the tomatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon of EVOO, then season lightly with salt and pepper.  Bake until tomatoes are browned, about 50 minutes.  Top with remaining 1 tablespoon of chives, parsley and thyme.  Let rest for 10  minutes before serving to fall-loving friends.  

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