Can’t get enough heirloom tomatoes these days. They were lovely in June. Yes. They are even better now and we are having them every day. If you stay for dinner you might get some lovely slices simply sprinkle with coarse sea salt, olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped basil. If you are around for lunch, I will just hand you a crusty piece of bread to scoop up thick pieces of tomatoes, garlic and basil, all dressed in a simple vinaigrette.
If you come around on Sundays though, you will get them in a tart. Or eight. Depending on how late we got up… For some reason, Sundays have become more domestic because of our schedule. We take the time to prep things for the week, he in his office among his papers to grade and the bills and I, in the kitchen getting foods ready for us or work that week.
No matter what, it almost always end up around the dinner table with a couple of friends. Or a lot. And a bottle of wine. Or many. Living wholeheartedly the moment as it presents itself. And right now, it’s easy with the gorgeous days we are having. It sure is Fall somewhere. Not here. And I am basking in all things Summer for a little while longer.
Sun ripened tomatoes, piment d’Espelette, black olive tapenade all fitting in the palm of my hand in tartelette forms. Easy to take to the dock for a little snacking.
I’ve been enjoying a whole lot of simple meals lately and I got to say that when the schedule gets as packed as it has, they fuel me and keep me going until late in the night. I am not only talking about time cutting efficiency but flavors so clean you can taste the vitamins in every bite.
So yes, it’s still a whole lot of summer here. Radishes as crisp and pink as if you had just picked them. They can give you some lip back though. These are feisty spicy little things, ehehe!
I like them as simple as that. A touch of butter, a sprinkle of coarse sea salt as I dig into a tartelette. Or two. When I have enough of that spicy kick, I roast them in the oven with some thyme and a drizzle of olive oil and they become soft and demure as can be. Interesting how the simple act of roasting them can change their nature.
The tarts take virtually no time to assemble if you have the dough prepared ahead of time but it’s always possible to use already made dough (probably won’t be gluten free though). Tapenade is something quite specific to the South of France but it relatively easy to find online or make from scratch.
Heirloom Tomato Tarts:
For the crust:
5 tablespoons (70gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon piment d’Espelette (or pinch red pepper flakes)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup (80gr) brown rice flour
1/2 cup (60gr) millet flour
1/4 cup (30gr) sorghum flour
1/4 cup (40gr) potato flour
(or 1.5 cups of all purpose flour if not using gf flours)
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
For the filling:
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup black olive tapenade
6-8 heirloom tomatoes, cut into thin slices
chopped basil (as much or as little as you want)
salt and pepper
Feta cheese (about 1/3 cup) – optional
Prepare the crust:
In a mixer, whip together the butter, piment and mustard on medium speed until light and airy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Mix until incorporated. Add all the different flours, and the xantham gum and mix briefly. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured (use more rice flour) board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between two sheets of plastic to fit your preferred mini tartelette pans (or you can use one 10-inch pie pan). If the dough tears while you roll or/and transfer into the pans, just patch it with your fingertips. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
You can freeze the dough for up to 3 months and prepare it up to 4 days in advance
Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
Spoon a little or a lot of olive tapenade in the bottom of each tart shell and top with overlapping slices of tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and some basil.
Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the shells are cooked through.
Drizzle with olive oil right before serving. Sprinkle with feta cheese if desired.