I wait all year for Barbara’s tomatoes. I refuse to buy the imported, tasteless, watery tomatoes sold in the grocery store. Occasionally during the winter I buy canned San Marzano tomatoes to make sauce, but nothing compares to the sun-ripened tomatoes that come out of our garden. We grow three kinds of cherry tomatoes, ranging from almost black to yellow, 2 varieties of yellow heirloom tomatoes and three of red, 2 kinds of paste tomatoes, and Sicilian heart-shaped tomatoes.
This year our tomatoes are out of control. When we went to the Addison County Field Days earlier this week, we didn’t see anything in the vegetable competition that even came close to our monsters. In June I kept saying to Barbara how I couldn’t wait for her tomatoes to ripen, now I complain that we have too many tomatoes. For the first few days we simply sliced the tomatoes and garnished them with basil, salt and olive oil. Other favorite tomato dishes include gazpacho, caprese salad with mozzarella di bufala, bruschetta, amatriciana or arrabbiata sauce for pasta, and a roasted cherry tomato pasta sauce. We also roast and stuff them with rice, couscous or cheese, or slow roast and preserve them in oil for the winter (we would sun dry them if we could, but unfortunately here the sun isn’t strong enough and it’s far too humid).
The Flavor Bible cites basil, bell peppers, cheese, garlic, lemon, olive oil, onions, salt, pepper, thyme and vinegar as the best matches for the tomato. Some of our other favorite parings include hot peppers, sausage, pancetta, prosciutto, and potatoes.
Last night we decided to get creative and came up with a new delicious way to use our tomatoes in the form of a flaky tomato, potato and prosciutto tart. We’re always in search of new recipes, though, for our fresh tomatoes — what are your favorites?
Tomato Tart Recipe
1 all-butter puff pastry
2 large heirloom tomatoes (red and yellow)
4 small new potatoes
1 small white onion
1 small red onion
2 garlic cloves
2 slices of prosciutto
3/4 cup mix of Comté and Italian provolone, grated
A handful of fresh thyme and basil
Dijon mustard to taste
1 egg yolk
1. Defrost the puff pastry in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Boil the potatoes then slice thinly. Thinly slice the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and allow to drain well. If very juicy, pat them dry with a paper towel before putting them on the tart. Thinly slice the onions into rounds and saute in olive oil and with a pinch of salt until soft and starting to brown. Mince the garlic. Coarsely chop the herbs. Cut the prosciutto into small squares.
3. On a sheet of parchment paper, unfold the puff pastry. Score the edges and prick the inside but not the edges, so that they will puff up. Spread a thin layer of mustard on the tart. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and then the onions. Arrange the tomatoes and potatoes in a decorative pattern and top with the garlic, prosciutto, and herbs herbs. Prepare an egg wash out of the yolk of one egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water. Brush the edges with the egg wash. Cook on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately.