I know that summer is basically over. I hope you have all enjoyed the tomatoes, peppers, peaches, berries, sweet corn and other lovely seasonal fruits and veggies. As you have probably figured out, we have eaten very well this summer, thanks to our local farmers.
Our summer has been tomato-filled. We have had between 2-8 pounds of tomatoes per week from our CSA. My mother’s tomatoes offered me plenty of marinara sauce for the fall, winter and spring. My tomato plants have offered a front porch grocery store when needed. The Philosopher and I have lived off fresh basil, mozzarella, and tomato grilled sandwiches all summer. Sometimes we added variety with the bread; pita or fresh baked wheat bread, so hard to choose! We once used feta instead of the mozzarella. Sometimes I added a dab of tomato sauce. Otherwise, lunch has been this simple yet heavenly creation. The other major tomato kitchen event has been the Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart with a Rosemary Crust. I am not sure how many times I have made this, but after the first baking, we decided it had to become a regular. This has attended many of dinner parties and club meetings this summer. I have converted individuals who previously disliked tomatoes with fairly simple dish.
I hope this post isn’t too late. I hope you have a bowl of final tomatoes that you have been saving for that last fantastic summer recipe. If not, run to the store and buy some. You have to. This is too good to pass up. Don’t believe me, huh? OK fine, save this until next year. When you taste, you will regret waiting. Trust me.
Tomato Goat Cheese Tart with Rosemary Crust
1¼c unbleached all-purpose flour
½t minced fresh rosemary (or oregano or thyme)
8 T chilled, unsalted butter cut (one stick)
4-5 T ice water
6 oz goat cheese crumbled (~1 1/3 c)
3 medium tomatoes, cored, sliced ¼” thick and blotted dry between towels
1 T olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Pulse flour, salt and rosemary in food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until it resembles pea-sized crumbs (mine was much more fine than pea-sized) about ten 1-seocnd pulses). Add water, one T at a time, pulsing after each addition. After 4T of water added, process for several seconds and watch for dough to come together. Add additional T of water if needed. Process just until a rough ball forms. Do not over process or it will not be flakey. Form into smooth ball and fatten into 5” disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 375 and move rack to middle of oven.
Roll dough into 12” circle on lightly floured surface. Lay dough on 10” tart pan with removable bottom and fit into bottom and sides of pan. Trim excess dough off top of pan. Prick bottom of tart shell with fork many times.
Scatter goat cheese across bottom. Arrange tomatoes into 2 rings, overlapping slightly. I ended up with more than 2 rings. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with Salt & Pepper.
Bake until edges of crust pull away from sides of the pan and are golden brown. 45-50 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Can also be cooled for several hours and served at room temperature. Cut and serve.
I have been using rosemary, since it is plentiful in my herb garden. Obviously, I have varied the tomato varieties. The cheese has also varied. I have used both local chevre and feta. I also don’t measure the filling. I make sure I have enough cheese to cover the bottom well. The tart pictured actually includes about five small tomatoes and two mediumish tomatoes. I am pretty sure that when the ingredients are this good, actual measuring is secondary. I have been using a springform pan. I let it cool for a few minutes, then remove the outside of the pan and place on a plate. If you only have a pie pan or an 8″ round pan, that will work well, also. Lastly, I don’t own a rolling pin. If this is also you, don’t let it stop you! I use a wine bottle, or vinegar jar. Or anything that is similarly shaped to roll out dough. Just dust with flour, make sure the lid is on tight (I missed that step once!), and roll away!
I generally buy a crisp white wine to go with this. I don’t do well with wine parings, but have a store nearby that is extremely helpful. If I tell them the dish, they can match me with a wine to fit my price and meal. I think they suggested a Riesling and I was extremely happy with their suggestion!
Go out and enjoy the last taste of summer. Lots of fantastic fall flavors await us. I had pumpkin ice cream and bought some local apple cider today. I am excited about the upcoming season. What are you eating?