It's tomato season again. And, from vine ripe to plum and heirloom to cherry, there are plenty of tasty varieties available everywhere. This time of year tomatoes are good just sliced and seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper. But, they can also be a key ingredient in a variety of dishes.
Before choosing to do this segment, I asked my facebook friends for ideas and suggestions. Carol Mackey, who has shared some of her recipes in the past and has recently became food editor at Living60010, sent in a few of her tomato dishes. Her tomato tart is similar to mine, so I thought I'd share it with you as well. You can check out her tart and three additional tomato recipes of at: Living60010.com.
My tart recipe below can be made with any type of tomato. The base is the standard cream cheese crust that my mom taught me to make a long time ago. But, for a little added flavor, I tried mixing in chopped bacon. It's a nice flavor and texture compliment to the tomatoes and certainly optional if you'd rather not include it. The recipe is also for two 8" tarts. But, you can use the same ingredients for a single 10" or 11" tart pan.
For a second dish, I wanted to make a simple snack using only fresh ingredients, so I've included my pico de gallo recipe. It takes minutes to prepare and it's best served with tortilla chips.
make two 8" tarts
1 1/4 cu Flour
6 tbl Butter
3 tbl Cream Cheese
3 slices Bacon, cooked and finely chopped
1 1/2 - 2 lbs Fresh Tomatoes of your choice
2 tsp Fresh Oregano, chopped
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 cu Fontina Cheese, grated
3/4 cu Parmesan Cheese, grated
5-6 Fresh Basil Leaves, chiffonade
two 8" Fluted Tart Pans with Removable Bottoms
Combine flour, butter, cream cheese and bacon in a food processor using the dough blade, if available, or regular steel blade if not. Process until mixture comes together and forms a ball. Remove dough and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for an hour. If you don't have a food processor, simply cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour. Add in bacon and work the mixture with your hands until a smooth dough forms. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
After an hour, split dough in half. Roll out each half on a lightly floured surface forming a circle about 10" in diameter. Lightly dust the bottom of the tart pan with flour and place the dough into it. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan. Using a fork, poke the bottom of the crust about 15-20 times. Repeat with the second second crust. Place both crusts in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chilled crusts on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow crusts to cool completely.
If you are using grape or cherry tomatoes, slice them in half. If you are using larger tomatoes, then slice them into 1/8" thick slices. Place the tomatoes on a paper towel (cut side down with the smaller tomatoes) for 15 minutes. Then, put tomatoes in a bowl and toss them with salt, pepper and oregano.
Once crusts have cooled, cover each with half of the fontana cheese and half of the parmesan cheese. Arrange half of the tomatoes on top of each crust, covering all of the cheese. Cut and add a few more slices of tomatoes if necessary.
Bake tarts at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the crusts are golden brown and tomatoes have wilted. Remove from oven and top with basil chiffonade.
Serve tarts at room temperature.
Pico de Gallo
2 cu Tomatoes, firm, seeded and diced
1/3 cu Red Onion, diced
1/2 cu Jicama, peeled and diced
1 med Jalapeño, seeded and diced
1/2 cu Cilantro, leaves only, chopped
Juice of 2 Limes
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
Mix ingredients together in bowl and serve with chips.