I’m writing this at the dining room table. The street lamps dim glow reminds me of Gregory Crewdson’s cinematic photographs. Blue quiet with an edge of mystery. Inside a small New England town, something is about to happen and does right at the moment the shutter clicks.
It’s barely 9 pm. I’m googly eye tired and snapping myself awake. I wanted to pop in and share this rustic tomato tart with you and to say hey, thanks for joining me in this little space that started five years ago.
Hooray for five. I love that you’re here.
Before I land face forward onto the keyboard, I’ll leave you with a heap of tomatoes and a tiny bit of work to be done in the kitchen. Believe me, it’s worth it! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with pie. More to come.
Rustic Tomato Tart with Vegan Chevré
makes 4 to 6 servings
rustic tart dough
2 cups unbleached all-purpose or whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
12 tablespoons cold, vegan or dairy butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 to ½ cup ice water as needed
for the sun-dried tomato paste
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (re-hydrated in warm water for 15 minutes, drained, then tossed with a little olive oil, a pinch of dried oregano and thyme)
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
for the tart filling
10 stalks fresh oregano, leaves picked and roughly chopped
1/3 cup fresh chopped chives
10 ounces plain almond chevre or goat’s milk chevre, sliced into rounds
1 pound ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
10 stalks fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing on the tart dough
freshly ground black pepper
To make the rustic tart dough, mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Cut in the butter by hand or using a mixer with a paddle attachment, leaving some pea-sized chunks. Sprinkle the ice water over the top by the tablespoon and toss it with the flour mixture until you can bring the dough together into a ball. Press it into a disk and refrigerate and let the dough chill for 15 minutes.
To form a galette, roll it out on a lightly floured counter into a 14-inch irregular circle about 1/8-inch thick. Fold it into quarters and transfer it to the back of a sheet pan or a cookie sheet without sides. Unfold it. It will be larger than the pan.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
To make the sun-dried tomato paste, put all the sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, garlic cloves, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and process to a rough paste. While the machine is running, drizzle in the olive oil adding just enough to create a smooth consistency.
To assemble the tart, spread the sun-dried tomato paste over the prepared tart dough, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle with the oregano, chives, and chevre; arrange the tomatoes on top in an overlapping pattern. Cover the tomato paste with fresh tomatoes. Drop the thyme stalks over the tomatoes and drizzle with a little olive oil. Fold the edges of the dough over the tomatoes, folding the dough over every inch or so. Brush the top lightly with olive oil.
Bake the tart 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden and the tomatoes collapse into tender goodness.