Aug 28, 2012

Summer Produce: Tomatoes

I love tomatoes. I think everything tastes better with tomato, which is probably why 1/4 of our summer garden is devoted to them. When where not eating them sliced with basil and fresh mozzarella, these are my top three favorite things to do with our fresh summer garden tomatoes.

French Tomato Tart
Adapted from David Lebovitz

Tart Dough
1 ½ cups flour
4 ½ oz unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2-3 tablespoons cold water

Tart Filling
Dijon mustard
3 large ripe tomatoes
Chopped fresh herbs (whatever is in your garden - thyme, chives, rosemary, etc)
8 oz goat cheese, sliced into rounds
1 ½ tablespoons honey

Make the dough by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and use your hands, or a pastry blender, to mix in the butter until the texture is fine. Mix in the egg and water, stirring the mixture until the dough holds together. If it's not coming together easily, add additional tablespoon(s) of ice water, one tablespoon at a time. Gather the dough into a ball and roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, adding additional flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. Place dough in tart pan, push against the sides.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spread an even layer of mustard over the bottom of the tart dough. Slice the tomatoes and arrange them over the mustard in a single, even layer. Sprinkle with some chopped fresh herbs, then arrange the slices of goat cheese on top. Add some more fresh herbs, drizzle with some honey over the cheese. Bake the tart for 30 to 45 minutes, until the dough is cooked, the tomatoes are tender, and the cheese on top is nicely browned.

*If you don't have a tart pan, roll the dough out to create a free form galette. Place on a baking sheet. Add the filling ingredients into the center leaving a 2 inch border. Fold edges over the filling, pleating the edges to hold it all in.

Baked Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes

4 large heirloom tomatoes
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the tops off and core 4 large tomatoes. Scoop out pulp from each tomato, leaving shells intact; discard seeds and coarsely chop pulp. Stir together tomato pulp, feta cheese, breadcrumbs, green onions, fresh parsley, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Spoon mixture into tomato shells, and place in a baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes until tomatoes are tender.

Fresh Salsa

1 small onion, very finely chopped
2 jalapeños, stemmed, de-seeded and very finely chopped
5-6 tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
15 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 lime, juiced 

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl. Sometimes I will also add other peppers including sweet banana peppers, poblanos, or red bell peppers. This salsa tastes even better the next day after the flavors have had time to mellow. You can also mix into mashed avocados for really amazing guacamole (the secret is to let the salsa sit overnight first).

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