Recipe by Ashley E. Rodriguez
I need to share this with you all quickly before the tomatoes are gone forever. Hopefully I’m not too late. Our summer sunshine didn’t show up until July, so our tomatoes are still sticking around even though the fall rains have hit.
If you are lucky enough to have access to some heirloom tomatoes then you must make this tart. Don’t take my word for it but the words of three judges who voted this tart the winner in not just one category but two - Best Savory and Best Overall - in a local tomato recipe contest.
The crust alone is a winner so if tomatoes are a thing of the past, use this crust for the base of your next quiche or simply replace the fresh tomatoes with an assortment of roasted vegetables.
The crust is bursting with Parmesan flavor - a nutty, salty and rich base for the fresh Chèvre and tomatoes.
Now go, find some tomatoes.
Heirloom Tomato Tart
For the crust:
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed and chilled
- 2 cups grated Parmesan
- 2 tbsp ice cold water
For the topping:
- 8 oz Chèvre
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
- 6 medium tomatoes - quality is key! Heirlooms are the best to use here. You can also use tomatoes in a variety of sizes.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Vanilla salt
Combine flour, butter, and parmesan in a food processor and pulse quickly to get a sandy texture with some pea size pieces of butter. With a few more pulses, blend in the 2 tablespoons of ice water. The dough should stick together when you pinch it between two fingers. Pour the dough into the tart pan. Press the dough uniformly into the pan by pressing across the bottom and working towards the sides and up to form a rim. Chill the tart shell for 15 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Remove the tart shell from the refrigerator and poke a few times with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and slide the tart onto the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes and then use a fork to poke any areas that may be bubbling up. Place the tart back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or until it is golden brown in color. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Combine the Chèvre with the basil and place an even layer over the cooled pastry shell.
Slice the tomatoes and arrange in a nice pattern. Top with a drizzle of the olive oil, vanilla salt (or sea salt) and garnish with more fresh basil.
Serve with a glass of Barbera d'Asti medium-bodied red wine (Italy). Excellent selections include Coppo Camp du Rouss, Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’Asti, and Prunotto Barbera d’Asti Fiulot.
About Ashley E. Rodriguez
Food became my life while living in Italy. Growing up I was fortunate to have been brought up around a mother who intuitively knew how to cook, and just by being around that, it rubbed off on me. But it was in Italy where I truly began to appreciate the power of good food.
For me food is so much more than following a recipe in order to reach a desired product. As much as I enjoy that tasty product and the process in which it was created, my personal infatuation with food focuses on the aspects that go beyond satisfying a bodily hunger. I am completely and utterly obsessed with food because of its effect on the people who consume it, grow it, produce it, enjoy it, and live for it. Food is culture, it nourishes our bodies, it is passion, it is hard work, and for many it is their livelihood.
My culinary career has been primarily pastry focused. I worked under the Captain of the winning American Coupe du Monde team (the Olympics of bread baking) at the Essential Bread Baking Company in Seattle, WA. From there I went on to Los Angeles where I studied under Sherry Yard (Executive Pastry Chef for Wolfgang Puck's restaurant empire) at Wolfgang Puck's famous Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills. While working with Sherry, I also assisted her with her second book, Desserts By The Yard.
I moved back to Washington State and began my pastry business, fulfilling all sweet needs. You can see my work in numerous publications including Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom. Currently I am focusing on training my two young boys to have distinguished palates. You can also find me writing, teaching and creating a television program on the subject of real, good food.
Photographs copyright by Ashley Rodriguez. Used with permission.
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