I did it again, I pulled another ladies luncheon type of dish on my husband. I’m telling you all (over and over again), I miss the girly bonding. I was never the type to solely hang with the guys, but someway, somehow this has become my existence. Much to the contrary, I consider myself a girly girl. Ruffles, lace, pink, and jewels all make me *swoon.* Therefore, all the talk of the Habs, cardiothoracic this and that and I am at a loss. Cooking fuels my girly aspirations.
Many of you might be wondering why I complain. Just to be clear, it’s all light-hearted. I moved to a small university town after I got married and it has been an adjustment. For the first time in my life, I don’t have someone in this city I can just call and say let’s go grab a coffee. My husband goes to medical school here and is quite busy. I have been hunting for jobs for a few months now and no luck. There are very limited options here, but I am hoping I find something because we have 1 more year in this city. Essentially, I am a housewife (until I find a job). I never pictured myself as a housewife. The plus side to being a housewife is that I have time to cook. There’s good and bad in every situation.
I’m glad I have the free time to explore my culinary interests. This is why I made this savory roasted tomato tart all from *scratch.* I was quite proud of myself because dough rolling/preparing and I have never quite on the same page. So you can imagine my utmost and complete anger when my husband walked in and said, “where’s the meat?” Grrrrrrrr. In my head it was, “I’ll tell you where the meat is!” But, in reality it was more, “I made you a fresh and delicious meal, so stop complaining.” When he came into the kitchen and saw my farmer’s cheese all whipped up looking smooth and silky and the garnet-red roasted tomatoes and the sprinkling of thyme, I could tell he was getting excited and eating his own words. That’s when he started saying, “I haven’t eaten all day, when will dinner be ready.”
Once my husband started eating, he actually really enjoyed this tomato tart, maybe even more than did. Plus, he wanted to take it for lunch the next day. Men, they are all the same. I like to say, “simple minds.” They will most probably come back and say women are all the same. Tit for tat. My husband and I call it revenge tactics.
The tomato tart is bursting with rich concentrated tomato flavor. It is summer on a plate, a nice and light slice with a fresh farmer’s market salad so absolute bliss on a warm, sunny day. The farmer’s market is beginning to boom with tomatoes, lettuces, rhubarb, berries, asparagus, radishes, and fiddleheads.
For the past few weeks, the farmer’s market was kind of drab and desolate but slowly the produce selection is expanding. It’s a Saturday tradition, albeit a new one, for my husband and I to go to the farmer’s market. We never stayed in Kingston for the summer, during the off-season the market only had maple syrup and a few odds and ends. I am glad it is blossoming. I look forward to the upcoming months and creating dishes for my husband and myself and of course, anyone who wants to visit.
Oven Roasted Tomato Tart with Whipped Farmer’s Cheese
adapted from Susan Spungen’s, RECIPES: a collection for the modern cook
for the cheese base:
1/2 cup farmer’s cheese
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, (I used fleur de sel)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
for the oven roasted tomatoes:
4-5 plum tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3-4 sprigs thyme
sprinkling of sea salt
a few grinds of black pepper
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
for the crust:
1 cup flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 ice water
Set aside 1 tablespoon of capers or olives for the tart, optional
Start by making the dough. Combine all the ingredients for the dough except the ice water in a food processor and pulse until the butter and flour combine into pea-sized pieces. Next, stream in the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough just starts to come together. You may not have to use all the water. Next, pour out the dough onto a floured surface and knead into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to overnight.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and meanwhile place the tomatoes on a baking tray with the herbs, salt, pepper, and the olive oil. When the oven has come to temperature place the tomatoes in the oven for about 2 1/2-3 hours or until they shrivel up.
Prepare the cheese base by whipping together (using a mixer, food processor, or whisk) the cheeses, egg, salt, and pepper together. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the tart.
At this point, set your oven to 400 degrees, for the baking of the tart make sure your oven rack is in the middle of your oven and not too close to the top.
When the tomatoes are done, start rolling out the tart shell. Hit it a few times with your rolling-pin so it becomes more pliable. Roll it out until it can fill a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Place the tart shell into the pan once it’s the right size. Press it into the sides, it doesn’t have to be perfect and rustic looks better.
Next, spread the cheese mixture onto the base of the tart and arrange the tomatoes over the cheese mixture. You can add some extra thyme on top if you chose. Also, sprinkle the capers or olives on top, if you are using them. If you wish, you can add on some extra farmer’s cheese. Bake the tart for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is fully cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature with a garden salad with whatever vegetables are fresh and tasty.