TOMATO INGREDIENT STUDY NO. 3:
Apologies ahead of time, but I am going to go heavy on the photos and scarce on the words. Let the images do the talking; which I am hoping they say all that needs to be said about this dish.
I've been seeing an abundance of tomato tarts out there in Internet-land. They look delicious, but when you are working with the likes of tomatoes and cheese you've got delicious already in the making. Just like an apple, I munched on a sweet and juicy heirloom tomato as I brainstormed about what I could do differently with the tomato tart. Not terribly different, but just enough that it would be grazing the out-of-bounds territory.
I opened the fridge and my eyes stared down a bag of cornmeal that I had yet to open. Since I am not a fan of Southern food, cornmeal is the last thing I gravitate towards in the kitchen. In fact, my first hush puppy introduction just last year was long overdue. But, you see, I never have the desire to eat Southern home-cooking. Maybe I am just jaded against cornmeal because of my dislike for the regional flair. But here we were, the cornmeal and myself, eyes fixated on one another. It was a challenge. The cornmeal was challenging me. A duel. And I accepted.
RECIPE: This tart has a the taste of a savory Italian pizza and the cornmeal gives it a bit a crunch. All in all, this one will be made several more times in my house before tomato season bids us adieu.
Cornmeal Crust with Basil:
- 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 chopped cloves of garlic
- 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of medium grind cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 stick of unsalted butter / 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons of ice water
- Chop up your basil and garlic. Mix basil, garlic, flour, cornmeal, and salt.
- Cut cold butter into pea-sized sections. Add to the flour mixture.
- In a mixer with the paddle attachment, add water one tablespoon at a time. After 4 tablespoons have been added check the dough to make sure it is firm but shapeable. Add one more tablespoon if not.
- Mold into a 5 inch disc then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
- 2 medium mozzarella balls
- 2 large sized heirloom tomatoes
- goat cheese
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Take prepared dough out of the fridge. Roll it out until it covers 12 inches by 12 inches. Using a 9.5 inch or 10 inch tart pan, press the dough into the pan.
- Slice mozzarella and line the bottom of the tart with the cheese. Sprinkle in goat cheese where the mozzarella leaves openings.
- Cut tomatoes into 1/2 cm thick slices. Create a second layer with the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, or until crust is lightly golden and cheese has a touch of brown to it. Cool completely before slicing.