Last summer was the Summer of the Cherry Tomato. My CSA delivered buckets and buckets of them, overflowing from their containers in rays of orange, yellow and red (see above photo). I made sauce, I made kebabs, I made jam, I made everything I could think of with those dang tomatoes. At the end of the summer, I felt that cherry tomatoes had overstayed their welcome with me, those clingy little SOBs. Yet, now that spring has shown its face, that memory has faded. A winter devoid of those little orbs has erased the exhaustion of the cherry 'mater onslaught. And now, against all odds, I crave them.
It's really more a matter of craving sunlight and green things growing and fresh things to eat! I love you, root vegetables, but you gotta GO!!! Make way for the basil and tomatoes and squash! Move it or lose it you mangy winter veggies! Except for you, 'taters. You can stay.
Anyway, when the new issue of Food and Wine arrived with this lovely, hilariously simple savory tart recipe, I knew what I had to do. I know, I know, cherry tomatoes aren't really a spring vegetable... but sometimes you must simply partake of the bounty in the aisles before you, when a recipe like this presents itself. So, for better I worse I hitched my wagon to this tart and I am NOT SORRY. If you make this tart, you will not be sorry either. Enjoy!
Cherry Tomato Tart with BasilRecipe by Alix de montille and Jean-Marc Roulot, Food and Wine April 2010
· 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
· 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
· 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
· 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
· 2 tablespoons shredded basil leaves
Butter a 9-inch tart pan. I just used a pie pan because that's what I have. We're in a recession, ok?! Make do. In a food processor, pulse the flour with a pinch of salt and the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (Make sure you have a big enough food processor, because my adorable little 2.5 cup Cuisinart did not appreciate what I was trying to do. It was a near disaster)
Add the cream and pulse until the dough nearly comes together. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead a few times. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325°. Roll
out the dough to a 14-inch round. Press the round into the tart pan; trim
off any excess. Mound the tomatoes in the shell. Bake for about 1 hour and
40 minutes, until the dough is evenly browned. Let cool.
Season with sea salt, and chopped basil. I also added some grated parmesan, a grind or two of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil for true perfection. When I reheated a slice in the oven the next day, I threw a few mozzarella pearls in amongst the tomatoes to melt. Next time, I may do this the first time around...it would alter the simplistic nature of the tart, but fresh mozz is SO good. Just a thought...
Note: I almost felt that the tart dough was a bit too dense...not sure how to remedy this, but if I try it again, I might add a leavening agent to give it a bit lighter feel.