This is the dawning of the age of solanum lycopersicum, and I hope you have snatched up your share of ‘maters from your garden/ area farmer’s market/ favored roadside stand/ neighbor Bob.
The tomatoes have been off to a slow start during my Minneapolis summer, but luckily there is a group of freakishly good-looking Amish teenagers at the Mill City Farmers Market who bring in crates of heirlooms from whatever mystical produce paradise they hail from.
They even offer free samples!
So far one of my favorite things I’ve made this summer has been the tomato tart from the latest issue of Southern Living.
I used Cherokee Purples and Beefsteaks for the tart, which is obscenely easy to make.
- 2 medium tomatoes/1 large one/several smaller ones
- 1 package of frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
- 1 8oz. package of shredded mozzarella
- 1 4oz. package of crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used rosemary and oregano) (sage, rosemary and thyme would have made a great Tomato Garfunkle Tart)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Lay tomatoes out on paper towels and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let them relax for 30 minutes and pat them dry.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and start rolling out one sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is a 14 inch square… or a 12 x 5 inch rectangle, which seemed to be the only shape my dough would morph into… or a 9-inch equilateral triangle… hell, even an octagon would look pretty.
Cut strips from the remaining pastry sheet to fit around the edges of whatever shape your puff pastry took to and reserve the rest for another day. Bake for 14 minutes.
After it’s browned up, sprinkle it with cheese and chives, layer on the tomatoes and dust with other herbs and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Bake for another 14-15 minutes or until the cheese is melty and dream-inducing.
If you’re looking for the cheap n’ dirty route, there isn’t a thing wrong with slicing whatever you have and pairing it with basil, olive oil and mozarella in any combination you so choose.
Caprese: Like Jeff Bridges, critical thinking and labradoodles, it’s vastly underrated.
In other non tomato-related news, I have officially registered for two pie and two jam contests at the Minnesota State Fair. In between lattice drills and sterilizing jars, I will continue posting, but if you need me otherwise, I’ll be chained to the oven. WIth any luck, I can return to school in Georgia with ribbons and glory.