Tomato Tart

It seems as though my tomatoes always ripen all at once.  At that point, I cannot have enough tomato recipes!  This one has become one of my favorites.  I’ve tweeked it to give it some easy, very acceptable short-cuts.

Crust

One packaged rolled pie crust or one package of dry mix for one crust.

1 tbsp. herbs de provence

Filling

1/2 pkg. softened boursin cheese

1 medium sweet onion, sliced thinly

1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tbsp. each chopped fresh basil and fresh rosemary

Topping

2 – 3 very ripe tomatoes, sliced thinly

1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1 tbsp. olive oil

course ground black pepper and salt to taste

Place the sliced tomatoes on paper towel lined baking sheet.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare pie pastry according to directions.  Mix in the herbs de provence. (If using pre-rolled dough simply sprinkle the herbs on top and gently roll ‘into’ the dough.  Roll out the dough and gently place in a 9-10″ tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom.  Prick all over with a fork.  Line with aluminum foil and fill with pastry weights or dried beans to weigh down.  Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove and remove the beans and foil.  Bake 10 minutes longer until lightly browned.  Remove and set aside.

Place the onions in a fry pan with the olive oil and sauté until golden.  Sprinkle the sugar and cook until dissolved.  All at once pour over the vinegar and cook until thickened.

Spread the boursin cheese along the bottom of the pastry crust.  Evenly distribute the onions over the cheese.  Sprinkle with the chopped basil and rosemary.

Place the tomato slices decoratively on top of the onion layer to coat.  Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped basil.  Add pepper and salt to taste.

Place tart on a baking sheet and place in oven.  Cook for approx. 40 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool slightly.  Carefully remove the outer ring of the tart form.  Place on a platter and serve.  Can be served at room temperature or hot.

Tomato Tart with Puff Pastry Crust

 

Just in case your tomato harvest is STILL going on as is mine, here is one last recipe I came upon and tweeked to make it easy and delicious.  Just the perfect side for those nights when the calendar says ‘fall’, but the weather says ‘lets enjoy those last summer rays’…….

1 sheet frozen phyllo/puff pastry dough, thawed *

2-3 tomatoes thinly sliced

1/3 cup shredded swiss cheese

3 pieces cooked bacon – finely chopped (optional)

sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped

4 tbsp. butter, melted

dash olive oil

one egg slightly beaten

salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Place the thawed puff pastry on an ungreased cooked sheet.  Brush some of the melted butter to cover the entire pastry dough. Sprinkle on the shredded cheese then the bacon within 1 inch of the edges.  Place the sliced tomatoes on the pastry overlapping down the long side of the pastry.  Very lightly drizzle olive oil then sprinkle with the rosemary.  Fold the edges over 1 inch and brush with the remaining melted butter, then the beaten egg.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake for approximately 30 to 45 minutes until lightly browned and puffed.  Serve warm.

 

Provencal Style Vegetable Tartin

I found this recipe years ago, added my own touches and it has always been a favorite.  I love serving this room temp at al fresco dinner parties, paired with a crisp dry Sauvignon Blanc, the combination is pure bliss.

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups thinly sliced leeks, rinsed well

1 large yellow potato sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 small eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 large zucchini sliced 1/4 inch thick

3 large beefsteak tomatoes sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/4 cup pitted greek olive mix – or just use calamata, roughly chopped

2 tsps. fresh thyme

several springs of fresh rosemary

coarse ground salt and pepper

Drizzle 1 tbsp. olive oil in a 2-quart baking dish.  Layer half the leeks in the dish, then cover with half the potato, season with salt and pepper.  Top with a layer each of half the eggplant, half the zucchini, and half the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper.  Scatter half the olives and half the thyme and a few sprigs rosemary.  Drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil.  Repeat the layers and seasoning with the remaining vegetables, finish with the olives and rosemary sprigs.  Drizzle with remaining olive oil and cover loosely with foil.  Bake 20 minutes in preheated 450 F oven.  Press vegetables down with a spatula and bake until potato is tender and edges are carmelized, about 45 minutes more.  Remove and cool somewhat before slicing.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Lentils

I have an earlier recipe for stuffed tomatoes posted, but I decided to try a twist on that recipe by adding lentils and a few other ingredients to change up the stuffing.  The results – very tasty!

approx. 6 medium sized tomatoes

1/4 cup cooked lentils

3/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic – crushed

1/2 tbsp. fresh thyme

3 -4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Cut the tops off the tomatoes and discard, lightly scoop out most of the seeds and pulp, lay upside down on paper towels to drain for about 30 minutes.  Combine all the remaining ingredients.  Consistency should be a course meal.  Fill each tomato and place in a roasting dish.  If you have remaining filling top the tomatoes to over-fill.  Bake in preheated 350 oven for 40 minutes.  Turn on broiler and broil tops until lightly browned.  You may sprinkle with extra parmesan if desired.  Serve immediately.

Note: in the photos above, I used plum tomatoes and cut them in half length-wise.  I forgot to take a picture of the “fresh from the oven” finished product!  Will provide in the future.

Ratatouille

This is such a versatile dish, a great intro to summer food and a great way to use up vegetables when you only have a few of this or that…

2 yellow summer squash, sliced

2 zucchini, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced in rings or wedges

3 medium tomatoes, chopped OR 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. herbs de provence*

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Cook covered on medium to low heat until bubbling.  Turn heat to low and continue to cook with lid slightly ajar, until vegetables are tender.  Serve with a slotted spoon.

*if you don’t have herbs de provence, fresh or dried rosemary and thyme can be used.

 

Sage Bread Stuffing

Aaahh, the perennial favorite, called dressing or stuffing, it seems no Thanksgiving is complete without it.  Here is my recipe for a very easy, yet always delicious stuffing. This recipe typically is enough to stuff a 16-18lb. bird.  If I have extra, I place it in a small casserole dish and bake alongside the turkey and pour some of the basting juices over the extra stuffing as well.  Serve at the table, or better yet, save for the next day with the turkey leftovers!

One 12 oz. bag seasoned bread cubes

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 small can of chopped water chestnuts, drained

1/2 medium stalk of celery – peel 2 or 3 of the larger outside stalks off.  Chop from the top down so as to get the ‘greens’. Chop half-way down the entire bunch into about 1/2 inch thick pieces

1 stick butter

2 1/2 Cups chicken broth

1/2 Cup chopped fresh sage leaves

salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic, water chestnuts and celery in the butter until tender.  Add the sage leaves and continue to cook.  Stir in the chicken broth and allow to come to a low boil, stir in the entire package of bread cubes.  Remove from heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Roasted Root Vegetables

I love this recipe because of its ease and the way the aroma fills the house when cooking.  There are many variations to the root vegetables as well.  Use your imagination with your combinations.  Either way the result is delicious.

Parsnips – about 3 large, pared and chopped into rings

Sweet potato –  2 scrubbed and chopped into cubes

Turnips – 2 medium, peeled and chopped into cubes

1 large onion peeled and sliced into large wedges

1/2 tbsp chopped garlic

1/2 tbsp herbs de provence

2 springs fresh rosemary

1/4 cup olive oil

sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together so that vegetables are well coated.  Add more olive oil if needed.

Roast at 350F, check on the vegetables as they bake tossing them every 15 minutes or so until desired doneness, approx. 45 minutes to an hour.

Fried Green Tomatoes

 

6-8 small to medium green tomatoes, tops and bottoms removed, sliced 1/2″ thick

1 Cup seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 Cup yellow cornmeal

2 tbsp. flour

2 eggs, beaten

salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

Place the sliced tomatoes on a wire rack over a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.  Allow to sit for 1/2 hour to drain excess moisture.  Combine the breadcrumbs, cornmeal and flour in a bowl.  Dip each slice of tomato in the beaten eggs and then in the breadcrumb mixture to coat well.  Place in a fry pan coated lightly with olive oil.  Repeat this with all the tomatoes.  Fry on medium heat until browned, turn over and brown on other side, add a small amount of oil to the pan if needed.  Serve immediately.

I like to serve these with a side of remoulade sauce.

Oven Baked Stuffed Tomatoes

Oven baked stuffed tomatoes

Ingredients:

4 large ripe tomatoes

salt

1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup olive oil

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Slice the tomatoe tops off horizontally and scoop the top 2/3’s of the pulp and seeds out.  Salt the insides and rest upside down on a wire rack resting on a sheet pan.  About 15 minutes.  In a medium bowl, mix the bread crumbs, the panko crumbs, garlic, basil, half the parmesan cheese, oil and pepper.  Stuff the tomatoes with the filling. Place in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake until cooked through and tops are golden, approx. 30 minutes.  Enjoy!