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Heirloom Tomato Tarts & Panzanella Salad

Tomato Tarts & Panzanella Salad

All packed and ready to go! I think. First stop Scotland for a couple of short days. Then we will head over to Ireland and backroad our way to Belle Isle Cookery School for the 4-day workshop I am teaching there. To say that I am excited would be the understatement of the year. I have not been to that part of the world yet.

House sitter all set up. Dog sitter already thrown in the middle of a creek chase by Bailey. Raincoats. Rain boots. Layers. Maps and big giddy smiles. Yep. I think we are about ready. Oh and Elliott, our 6 year old beta fish (so not joking) also found a temporary pad with friends, becoming their kids' first official visiting pet. Everyone is pretty much set.

Panzanella In The Making

It’s been such a long time we went abroad together. And the first real time off we have in a completely uncommon, unknown and foreign (to us) location. Pretty cool. We have been pouring over Google Earth for so many months checking the scenery and trying to figure out where his ancestors had lived that I am about as ready as can be to check things out.

I have no idea of what we will actually find, see and who we will end up meeting along the way. And we are completely open to that. I have learned to just learn and get familiar with things as much as possible and let thing unfold the way they do. There will always be something to come out of it, an improvement to be made, a lesson to be learned, another place to discover.

Panzanella Salad

That’s pretty much the motus operandi I have had these last few days as I was trying to empty out the fridge before our departure. Grab a few ingredients and spices agreeing with our taste buds, toss them up together and see where that gets us. Adjust attitude seasoning and keep going until dinner comes together.

And well…With an small peleton of heirloom tomates leading the race (yes, I may have the Tour De France playing in the background of my studio), we ended up with Heirloom Tomato and Rosemary Tarts one evening, accompanied by a few big spoonfuls of panzanella salad. And yes, tarts again. One of the easiest thing to do to clean out a fridge before a trip.


There are as many ways to make a tomato tart as there are cooks out there. And wait until you taste the quintessential Southern tomato pie. Oh dear. And well, there are as many versions of the panzanella salad as there are people having an opinion about it. That diversity is one of the many reasons why I love reading stories and anecdotes behind recipes. It’s also one of the reasons that make me grab my camera to make an imprint of the moment and tell another story. Or the same one, with a different look.

Traveling is very much the same. You see the same things as the many people around you. With a different look. For all of us.

Have a fantastic weekend! I will try to post some pics and updates as the trip unfolds but if you want first hand thoughts and pictures, best is to read my Twitter feed, @helenedujardin or check my Instagram shots at helenedujardin.

Tomato Tarts

All pictures © Helene Dujardin Photography.
Heirloom Tomatoes Tartlets:

Makes eight 4-inch tartlets or one regular tart

For the crust:

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour or Jeanne’s all purpose gluten free mix
1 stick (115g) unsalted butter, kept very cold
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2-3 tablespoons ice cold water

For the filling:
6 to 8 heirloom tomatoes
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary
pinch of salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Prepare the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, (or follow the same instructions if doing by hand), pulse together the flour until incorporated. Add the butter and pulse until the butter resembles small peas and is evenly incorporated. Add the salt and pulse on more time. Gradually, stream in the cold water until the flour just comes together. Turn the mixture out onto your work surface and form into a 2-inch thick, round disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (or overnight) before rolling out.

Flour your working surface with tapioca flour (if gluten free) or regular flour and start rolling out the dough to about 1/4-inch thick adding more flour as you feel the dough starts to stick. You can also roll it out in between two sheets of plastic wrap of parchment paper, especially with working with the gluten free version. Cut eight 5-inch rounds of dough and place them inside eight 3 to 4-inch tartlet pans. Place a small piece of parchment paper inside each of them, fill with dried beans and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F (both convection and not) and position a rack in the middle.
Place the tart shells on a baking sheet and bake the tartlets for about 15 minutes (with the dried beans inside). Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 to 10 minutes and remove the beans and parchment paper.

Prepare filling:
Slice the tomatoes and lay them flat on a couple of sheets of paper towels to soak up some of their juices.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk until well incorporated. Add the rosemary, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk again.
Divide the mixture in between all the cooled tart shells and arrange the tomato slices over the top.
Bake at 350F for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the center is barely set.

Panzanella Salad:
Not so much a recipe but more a big toss up according to your own appetite.
( for recipes, here is a good start)
Mine goes something like this:
some leftover bread
plenty of tomatoes
some anchovies
some olives
lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper
freshly chopped basil
fresh arugula
fresh minced garlic

Toss all the ingredients together and let sit for about an hour so the bread gets a good soaking…

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Jen Laceda | Milk Guides July 14, 2012 um 5:54 am

I just made a panzanella salad for my blog as well (and for my lunch yesterday)!!!! But of course, your salad AND your photographs turned out so much better than mine! Hehehe. I do LOVE this bread salad, though. So simple, so basic, yet satisfying!

Kristin July 14, 2012 um 6:37 am

Here's hoping there will be lots of sunshine and blue skies for your time here in Ireland! If you're looking for recommendations of places to eat when you're here, just send a tweet to @IrishFoodies and the nation's foodies will be happy to help.

Anonymous July 14, 2012 um 10:17 am

Absolutely gutted that I only just started following your blog and didn't realise you were coming to NI! You'll have to do another one in the UK at some point!

Sharyn Dimmick July 14, 2012 um 11:16 am

That last shot of the tart is beautiful, Helene. Happy Trails!

Helene July 14, 2012 um 12:23 pm

Kristin: I already did and got lots of great suggestions!

Juls @ Juls' Kitchen July 14, 2012 um 12:32 pm

it's fun to see one of the most typical recipes of my region, panzanella, made with such care, love, and beautiful tomatoes thousands and thousands of miles away from Tuscany. It's vibrant, beautiful!
Enjoy your time and your travels! x

Ilke July 14, 2012 um 1:06 pm

Have a great time! I am sure you will enjoy everything the trip brings.

Jackie@Syrup and Biscuits July 14, 2012 um 2:02 pm

Heirloom tomatoes are a real thing of beauty. You capture their essence perfectly. Enjoy your trip!

A Canadian Foodie July 14, 2012 um 3:17 pm

Helene – you are the first person I have read who has said to me – what is so obvious… there are as many ways to make a great tomato tart as there are great cooks making great tomato tarts – not in your words, but that is my mantra… again, not in those words… it was so refreshing to read.
Love heirloom tomatoes. The red zebra is one of my many favourites.

Redd H from Salted Spoon July 14, 2012 um 6:44 pm

These look so delicious and stunning!

Have a lovely trip!

Unknown July 15, 2012 um 3:07 am

Oooh, Scotland is just gorgeous! I've never been to Ireland, but it must also be just lovely!
And those tarts just look so yummy~ I wish I could just dive into the computer and munch on them! 😀

The keepers wife July 15, 2012 um 9:52 am

So the Irish have welcomed you….so on behalf of the Scots!!- PLEASE bring some sunshine with you, and although I will bet it's not Aberdeenshire you are coming to, ENJOY our crannachan, our whiskey, our black pudding and our beef, the best fish on earth and a green and verdant welcome. The chanterelles are in season and so is the hospitality.

cathy @ Noble Pig July 15, 2012 um 2:04 pm

Have a wonderful trip, it sounds like it will be amazing, gorgeous photos too!

Riley July 15, 2012 um 5:04 pm

Have a great time! That panzanella is currently calling my name, so I'm off to the market!

Dannii @Hungry Healthy Happy July 16, 2012 um 11:00 am

These little tartlets looks amazing – I will make some this weekend. July 16, 2012 um 2:18 pm

Beautiful looking tart. These look like the tomatoes we buy in the markets in Spain (Murcia). I hope the flavours were as good! Great to find you here. Happy days, lee

Bree July 16, 2012 um 3:19 pm

These look DIVINE!

Anajá Schmitz July 16, 2012 um 4:33 pm

Olá, me encanta ver suas fotos desses criativos pratos. Estou aprendendo cm você fotografar meus quitutes.
Lindo seu blog.
Tenha uma ótima semana.
Anajá Schmitz

Bake-A-Holic July 16, 2012 um 5:54 pm

Love heirloom tomatoes! And who can resist them in a lovely tart? Yum!

The Teacher Cooks July 16, 2012 um 6:38 pm

Really do want to make this tart with all the tomatoes I am getting right now. What lovely photos as usual. Have a wonderful trip!

Hillary Butler {Fine Art} July 17, 2012 um 12:30 am

Heirlooms!! I think that summer smells like fresh tomatoes and I cannot wait to make some of these!

Marina@Picnic at Marina July 17, 2012 um 2:06 am

Have a fantastic trip Helene. I'll be eagerly waiting to see photos and stories about your adventures (there's always an adventure, even if you travel for business) 🙂

Isa@WeLoveChicken July 17, 2012 um 9:04 am

Your salad has all ingredients I love! olives, anchovies, arugula, basil…Simply delicious! Simply perfect for a summer day (actually for every day of the year)

Simones Kitchen July 17, 2012 um 7:37 pm

Whoohoo!! See you in two days time!! Hope you had a great time so far!!

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures July 17, 2012 um 11:51 pm

Yuuuuummy!!! Awesome shots!

Pétra July 18, 2012 um 8:22 pm

Have a wonderful time! I am looking forward to all the beautiful pictures your'e sure to share.

Rocky Mountain Woman July 18, 2012 um 9:01 pm

That shot of the tomatoes made my mouth water!

Lauren @ La Dolce Pita July 18, 2012 um 10:21 pm

Oh my gosh, how much do I wish I was heading to your workshop across the pond! Have an amazing time.

Melanie July 19, 2012 um 9:40 am

Nice stuff! Keep up the work on posts like this….enjoyed it.

Unknown July 22, 2012 um 6:53 pm

I recently bought your book and so pleased I have now found your blog!! Your photos are just stunning!

lizzie July 22, 2012 um 10:48 pm

Those tomatoes look so beautiful, a great way to serve them simply to enjoy their flavour.

Food Crush July 23, 2012 um 12:28 pm

I've just discovered your blog. Stunning photos and mouthwatering recipes. 🙂

Russell van Kraayenburg July 24, 2012 um 12:03 am

What a pair of scrumptious recipes! Those tartlettes are calling my name. And lovely shots as always. I feel like I am about to pull a chair up to the table.

Peeblespair July 24, 2012 um 12:22 pm

I met my husband in the borders of Scotland and even though we live in the States, it is still our home. Enjoy your first visit to this enchanting place.

ChichaJo July 24, 2012 um 12:35 pm

What an adventure! Travel with someone you love to a new place is always so exciting…enjoy!!

Love the tart…gorgeous as usual!

Anonymous July 25, 2012 um 6:11 am

Have a lovely trip!

Anonymous July 25, 2012 um 6:11 am

Have a lovely trip!

Cecile Rennetaud July 25, 2012 um 8:06 pm

I can't wait to see your pictures of Ireland, I know they will be amazing!

Kim Bee July 26, 2012 um 9:59 pm

Your photos always inspire me. Love how you capture the mood of a shot. Hope you had a good trip. These tartlets would make my hubby seriously happy.

Anaise July 30, 2012 um 11:20 pm

Thank goodness for farmers markets – it's very hard to find heirloom tomatoes in New Zealand, but every now and then some delightful local grower has a few in stock. Yours are stunning.

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