Roasted Tomato Tart

Sometimes, I don’t have interesting stories for why I chose a particular recipe on a given week. This is one of those weeks. Casting about for something to cook for new-recipe day, I checked NPR’s food blog (sadly no longer active) and found a week devoted to roasted tomatoes. Now, I’ve never roasted tomatoes, but the recipe seemed straight-forward enough, and I love tomatoes so, decision made. Warning: this recipe takes a long time to put together, like 2 hours so make sure you leave plenty of time to make it. Or have lots of little snacks to munch on while cooking. Or wine. Or both.

roasted tomato tart

Step 1: The Tomatoes
3-4 ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Slice the tomatoes and stick them on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle the vinegar, oil and a little salt over the slices. Stick in the oven and roast at 350 until they start to brown and dry out. I prefer them only lightly roasted, but you can roast them longer if you want. Just an fyi, the tomatoes will start by expelling the juice, so there will initially be more juice in the pan, before it starts to evaporate – so don’t worry if 10-20 minutes in the bottom of your pan has a lot of liquid on it.

Step 2: The Crust
1 cup flour
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup salted butter
some cold water

Mix together the flour and cheese in a bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or a fork if you don’t have one) until it is all incorporated, and the dough can almost clump together. Add the water, a little at a time, stirring it in with a knife and your hands until a nice dough has formed. Cover with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge.

Step 3: The Onions
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
olive oil
white wine

Heat the olive oil on a large frying pan, and turn the heat down to low. Add the onions and stir so they are all lightly coated in the oil. Cook on low for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions should be translucent but not brown. Add a little white wine to the pan, and keep cooking, on low, stirring every few minutes. The onions should shrink and slowly begin to color. After about 20-30 more minutes, the onions should begin to brown. At this point, you can either be done, or keep cooking until they become a nice amber-brown. The longer you cook them, the sweeter they get so it’s really up to you. I prefer them on the more lightly-sweet side.

Step 4: Assemble and bake.
Roll out the dough into a large circle and line either a pie plate or a tart pan. I had some leftover dough, so don’t worry if you do too. Put the onions as the bottom layer. Add some nice cheese over the onions. I used goat cheese and this spanish sheep cheese, but feta would work well – as would most slightly strong cheeses. Mozzarella might be too mild for this one. Layer the tomatoes on top of the cheese, and bake for 20-30 minute at 350 until done.

The result: unbelievably good. Like ridiculously good. Whether its good enough to be worth the amount of time it takes to make is more up to you, but it is pretty freaking delicious. And if you want an evening-long cooking project its great. It also stays good the next day, and is really good cold, which is nice because then you don’t get the limp crust problem than happens when you reheat something like this. Serve with a white wine, the one you used to cook the onions in preferable.  But its a nice, versatile recipe, so it’s will pair well with most things. Song of the week: You’ll be in my heart, by Phil Collins – for no better reason than I’ve been feeling nostalgic and sometimes I’m a big softy.

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