Heirloom Tomato Tart

Heirloom Tomato Tart: There is nothing better than ripe heirloom tomatoes just picked and still warm from the summer Sun. This recipe captures the essence of tomato flavor.  Try it with several dollops of fresh garden pesto. A galette is a fancy way of saying “a thin pie.” This one has a crunchy dough, rich with butter that is perfect for summer’s Heirloom Tomatoes and Parmegiano-Reggiano.

Heirloom Tomato Tart at Beechwood Inn, North Georgia Mountains

Ingredients:

1 ½  cups all-purpose flour put into the freezer for one hour (we use King Arthur)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled in the freezer for 1 hour
1/3   to 1/2 cup ice water

4-6 Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes of various colors

1/4 cup grated Parmigianino-Reggiano cheese

1/4 cup basil chiffonade or fresh thyme

High Quality Olive Oil

Place the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse until half of the butter clumps are the size of peas and the rest are a little larger. Transfer to a mixer and using the paddle and add a little of the ice water at a time until the mixture forms into a ball.

Handle the dough as little as possible so as not to warm the butter. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle and trim the edges. Place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment and refrigerate.

Prep the tomatoes:

To avoid a soggy crust later on, you need to get rid of of some of their liquid. Here is what we do at the Beechwood Inn: Slice the tomatoes into 3/8 slices. Place the sliced tomatoes on a rack on a sheet pan and sprinkle them with the sea salt. Put it in a warming drawer or oven at about 140 degrees for 2- 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Spread the sliced tomatoes in concentric circles around the crust making sure you distribute the different colors of tomatoes, but leave a one inch border around the edge.  Sprinkle the top with the grated cheese. Fold the uncovered edge of the pastry over the tomatoes, pleating it to make it fit.

Bake the galette in the oven until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, and then slide the galette off the pan and onto a serving plate. Sprinkle the top with the basil chiffonade or fresh thyme and drizzle a with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

At Beechwood Inn we use this recipe for Heirloom Tomato Tart in a variety of ways.  We will dollop some goat cheese on the galette before we put it in the oven.  If we have some fresh garden pesto we will drizzle on after it comes out of the oven.  To change the flavor and texture substitute Gruyere cheese for the parmigiano.

Heirloom Tomato Tart by Chefs David & Gayle Darugh, Best Chefs America 2013. http://bestchefsamerica.com/the-chefs/