Fresh Tomato Tart

Last week I had an immersive introduction to the Rocky Mountains. Going the last thirty years without making the trek now seems like I was done some gross injustice righted only by the thought that at some point in the past I may not have appreciated it quite as much.

I was thrown in the deep end with a trip comprised almost entirely of back country hiking. Long days. Sore muscles. Mosquitoes. Dehydrated food. Spectacular alpine meadows.

As the hike came to a close we congratulated ourselves on making it out on blistered feet with beers cooled in a glacial river. And, of course, spoke of the fresh things we could once again eat. I blame communal over-enthusiasm for what followed...

The drive home was set to include a stop in Kelowna for a visit with Paula of Lake Country Harvest and fruit pick-up for granola production. What wasn't expected was the additional 80 pounds of fresh produce which made its way into the car.

This recipe for tomato tarts was born from the dire need to make a dent in the pile of tomatoes while keeping them fresh. Enjoy!

Tomato tart

Ingredients

1/2 cup finely grated hard cheese (preferably something a little funky - look for "farmhouse" style cheeses)
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons coarse cornmeal
4 teaspoons ice water
Large pinch sea salt
4 medium heirloom tomatoes
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt


Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Combine the butter, flour, corn meal, and cheese in a food processor using the pulse setting until sandy. Add the water and continue to pulse until the dough comes together and feels firm when pressed between two fingers.

Pour the dough into either one 9 inch tart pan or four 4 inch pans. Using damp fingers press the dough firmly into the bottom and sides of the pan(s) and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

While you're waiting for the dough slice the tomatoes into 1/6 inch thick rounds. Lay them out on paper towel to dry

Place the tart(s) on a tray, poke the bottoms with a fork a few times, then cover with a square of tin foil and fill with a generous quantity of pie weights (or beans). Bake for 15 minutes, remove the weights and foil, then bake an additional 10 minutes.

If you like extra cheese, sprinkle a little more over the warm tarts when they come out of the oven, then leave them to cool completely.

Layer tomatoes in the tart(s) just before serving to avoid sogginess. Dress with thyme, coarse sea salt, and good olive oil.