Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fresh Tomato Tart with Basil-Garlic Crust

Tastespotting, is a picture food blog that I browse whenever I am hungry. Recently, while browsing, I came across Ezra Poundcake's recipe for Fresh Tomato tart. I had been seeing lots of tarts lately and was eager to give it a try. Furthermore, it is tomato season, and I have recently found this heirloom tomato seller at the Farmer's Market for good prices.

I decided that it would be a smart idea to make the dough and the actual tart on different days. Pie crust (or in this case tart) is not my strongest subject. The dough, however, was pretty easy. However, they say it is ready when it forms a ball. This recipe calls for 4 T of water but mine formed a ball after only 2 T. Not knowing what to do, I added the additional water and my dough was somewhat of a sticky mess by the end. Probably I should've stopped at 2. After refrigeration, however, the dough was back to normal.

Rolling out the dough, also a weak subject, was really hard. Again the dough became a sticky mess. I ended up finally getting it by rolling the dough between two well floured pieces of plastic wrap and then getting in the tart pan.

This dish was absolutely fabulous when I tasted it after 5 minutes from the oven. The flavors highly depend on good tomatoes, but it is worth it. This is not enough for a full meal but would make a superb appetizer or bread side with roast chicken...or anything else really. After being in the refrigerator, the quality suffers a little but the flavors are still there. I recommend eating it all the first night.

Basil - Garlic Tart Dough
1/3 C fresh basil
1 clove garlic
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 t salt
8 T unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 8 to 10 pieces
4-5 T ice water

1. Process basil and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add flour and salt and pulse to combine.
2. Add butter and pulse about 10 times until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs.
3. Add water 1 T at a time while pulsing until the mixture forms a ball
4. Flatten dough into a 5 inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour (I put my plastic-wrapped dough in a ziploc bag and refrigerated it for 3 days).

Fresh Tomato Tart
1 recipe Basil-Garlic Tart Dough
8 oz sliced mozzarella
1 pound tomatoes, cored and cut crosswise into thin slices (I don't know how to core an heirloom tomato so I cut some in chunks, but the ones in slices were way prettier
Salt and pepper
1 T extra virgin olive oil
10 inch tart pan with removable bottom (my tart pan is 9.5 inches and worked fine)

1. Butter the tart pan. Roll out dough into 12 inch circle and press into the tart pan, refrigerate if your kitchen is hot until needed.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3. Line the bottom of the tart pan with cheese slices
4. Place a ring of tomatoes around the outside of the pan and another inner circle until all cheese is topped with tomatoes
5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and oil
6. Bake until crust is golden brown (it looks a little green from the basil) and cheese is starting to brown--about 35-40 minutes. Cool for at least 5 minutes before serving

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