Once in a while the Canteen kitchen bakes savory, like this really easy, ridiculously good tomato tart made with ordinary ingredients.
The crust is cheesy. The filling is cheesy. The plain ordinary tomatoes are roasted. The little old red onion is caramelized.
At first glance the recipe might look daunting but think of it as three recipes. Cheesy tart crust, roasted tomatoes, and then the tart filling. But there is nothing hard or actually time consuming about any of it.
Well, ok, a little time consuming, but for the tomatoes and your oven, not you. Read a book, take a nap or do something fun while the tomatoes and the oven do all the hard work – roasting low and slow for a good long while to caramelize, burn just slightly, and shrink up a bunch to concentrate the flavor. That’s the hardest part of the whole recipe. Even the crust is easy and with a food processor, takes no time at all.
Take one old onion and cook it on the stove top over low-ish heat until it melts and literally starts to disappear. Then give it a splash of white wine over a little higher heat to caramelize those lowly onions into a mild but incredible flavor which pairs really well with the roasted tomatoes.
Use a favorite hard cheese – a little goes a long way. This particular tart is all in the goat family using goat butter for the crust, hard sharp goat cheese in the tart and if there had been extra, it would have been added to the crust instead of Romano.
Pie and tart crust often scares the pants off of bakers fearing that it will turn out to be a wreck. The best advice is to use as little liquid as possible to get the crust to start to form a dough ball. It will look ragged, smeary and maybe even slightly greasy. That’s all good. It’s all bad if the dough ball is dripping wet and feels like it needs to be wrung out to survive. Add the liquid just a little at a time.
How much liquid to add (think: range) depends on the weather, the condition of the flour, the humidity in the kitchen, how much water the butter contains and more. While there will always be some liquid necessary to make a good pie/tart crust, how much to add is always the floating (oh! a pun!) variable. Just use a little at a time and stop just when it starts to come together.
Want to save some time and effort? Both the crust and the tomatoes can be made ahead. The crust can remain in the refrigerator for up to a week (and frozen even longer – thaw in the refrigerator). The tomatoes can be roasted a few days ahead and refrigerated in a single layer or between layers of parchment in a covered container. The onions can also be prepared a day or so ahead of time. If all the ingredients are cold when layered into the tart, be sure to adjust the baking time up by about 5 minutes or so.
In fact, bake the tart a little longer than seems customary. When the crust is turning dark golden brown and the cheese is getting some color that is when it will have the best flavor. Let the baked tart sit on a rack for about 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving. Top with chopped basil and serve it just barely warm.
|Cheese and Tomato Tart|| |
- 4-5 fresh tomatoes sliced
- 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Garlic powder to taste
- 300 grams Canteen flour blend (2⅓ cups) (see notes)
- 90 grams hard Romano cheese cut in small chunks (about ⅓ cup)
- ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 113 grams cold unsalted regular or goat butter, cubed (8 tablespoons)
- 70 grams Spectrum shortening (5 tablespoons)
- 60-80 grams cold water (1/4 to ⅓ cups)
- 250 grams red onion, chopped (1 small to medium)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon white wine
- 100 grams good quality prosciutto, chopped (3 ounce package) (optional)
- 180 grams grated sharp goat cheese (or your choice) (about 1 ½ cups lightly packed)
- roasted tomatoes (from above)
- 2-3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place oil on a baking sheet and brush to cover. Remove seeds from sliced tomatoes and place slices on the oiled pan. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to tomatoes. Flip them over and repeat on the other side making sure each is coated with oil. Bake 20 minutes. Flip tomatoes over and place pan back in the oven. Turn oven temperature down to 300°F and bake 30-40 minutes more or until they are blackening on the edges and look caramelized . Remove the tomatoes from the pan using a small offset spatula (carefully) place on a piece of parchment paper. Cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a food processor blend together half the flour and all of the cubed cheese until the cheese is finely grated. Add remaining flour, salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder and pulse to blend. Add butter and shortening and pulse until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add water a few tablespoons at a time and pulse until mixture comes together in a ragged (and smeary) ball of dough. Remove from the processor and knead just until all the pieces are combined. Divide dough in half. Wrap and refrigerate or freeze half for another use. Roll remaining dough between sheets of plastic wrap and place in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (preferred). Freeze for 15 minutes. Place tart on a baking sheet and blind bake tart for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
- In a large saucepan (with a lid ) heat butter with oil over low heat until hot. Add sliced onions and cover. Cook over low heat until wilted and soft, about 15-20 minutes. Remove cover, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir. Turn up heat slightly and when all the liquid has evaporated add the white wine. Stir and let the onions caramelize just slightly. Remove from heat and let cool a little bit.
- Sprinkle half the grated cheese into the bottom of the tart crust. Add the onions and press into a single layer. Add about half the remaining cheese and then sprinkle prosciutto (if using) over the cheese. Top with the roasted tomatoes in a single layer, placed close together. Top with remaining cheese.
- Turn oven temperature up to 375°F. Place tart on baking sheet. Bake 18-25 minutes or until the crust is dark golden brown and the cheese is melted into the tomatoes. Top with basil before serving. Cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes and serve. Makes four generous servings.