Lu and I were driving home this afternoon, in sudden warm sunlight. She had been at her two-afternoons-a-week daycare (“..coool!” she calls it), where she splashed in water and sat on a tricycle and longed to be able to pedal. Afterwards, we stopped at Danny’s restaurant, where Lu ran to her daddy on the line, ate a corn fritter, got an apple from the kitchen manager, flirted with all of the boys, and waved to everyone else.
It was a full afternoon.
We were close to home, on that curve of a road we know so well now. She and I were talking about her day, in between verses of “Sing” from Sesame Street. (It’s her first song. She looks at me about 52 times a day and says, “La la?” She claps my hands for me and makes me sing. She joins in with all the nouns, in tune.) The sunlight was clear and dinner was waiting for us at home.
Lu looked out the window, pointed, and said, “Farm stand.”
“What did you say, hon?” I asked her.
“Farm stand,” she said, pointing.
And that it was. We were passing the farm stand we visit at least three times a week. Through the winter, we buy celery root and parsnips and hope for spring. This time of year, we just go for the tomatoes.
“That’s right, sweet pea. That’s the farm stand.”
She had never said that phrase before.
Danny and I love that our kid knows the phrase farm stand and she can point it out on the way home in the car. We love that she knows the taste of heirloom tomatoes, bursting at the vine with ripeness.
This time of year, ripe tomatoes are about all we need.
How You Can Join in Summer Fest:
Contribute a whole post, or a commentwhatever you wish. Its meant to be fun, viral, fluid. No pressure, just delicious. The possibilities:
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This week’s Summerfest offerings:
Nicole at Pinch My Salt: What to do with slow-roasted tomatoes
Alison at Food2: Heirloom tomatoes
The FN Dish: Tyler’s Ultimate Tomato Salads
Margaret at A Way to Garden: More than one way to ripen a tomato
Gilded Fork: Celebrating summer lusciousness with a tomato dossier and recipes
Diane and Todd at White on Rice Couple: Sun-dried tomatoes (actually made in the sun!)
Paige at The Sister Project: 3 substantial, healthy, vegetarian tomatoey main dishes
Liz at the Cooking Channel: Easy Tomato Tart
Kelly at Just a Taste: Tomato Jam
Alexis at Food Network UK: The seven deadly tomato sins
Michelle at Healthy Eats: Top 10 Things to Do With Tomatoes
Caron at San Diego Foodstuff: Chunky Gazpacho
Marilyn at Simmer Till Done: Tomato Maytag Blue Beignets
Alana at Eating from the Ground Up : Roasted Green Salsa
Heirloom Tomato Tart with a Pecorino Crust, adapted from Ashley Rodriguez
My friend Ashley is hugely pregnant, in that awkward place where she just wants that baby girl to arrive, already. Most of us in that state? We’re lying on the couch with a cold glass of water, a box of chocolates, and a tv remote in our hands. Ashley? She decided to enter a cooking contest at the Queen Anne Farmers’ Market, which called for tomatoes. And of course, because she’s Ashley, she won.
That baby girl has one cool mama.
Her heirloom tomato tart looked stunning. Because I know Ashley, I know it also tasted fantastic. I couldn’t eat it, but I could try to make it. Ashley was kind enough to send me her recipe. Late this morning, we all set to work to make this: I made the crust in the food processor, Danny combined the goat cheese and basil then sliced the tomatoes, and Lu ate as many tomatoes as she could.
This was the best lunch of the summer. Make it, if you have great tomatoes on hand.
(Just a note for you on flours. I used almond flour in here, which I think adds a great texture and taste. However, since it’s a nut flour, it has its own fats. I cut down on the butter for the tart and it turned out great. However, if you cannot use almond flour, be sure to raise the butter to 1/2 cup. Thanks.)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
60 grams Aherns AP flour
40 grams fine almond flour
4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled thoroughly
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
2 cups grated Pecorino romano (or Parmesan)
2 tablespoons ice water
225 grams soft chevre
2 tablespoons basil, fine chopped (take a look at this video for instructions on how to do this)
2 large, fat heirloom tomatoes (or 4 medium ones), sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
great sea salt (we like this one for this tart)
Making the tart dough. Combine the salt, AP flour, almond flour, guar gum, butter, and romano cheese in a food processor. Pulse, briefly, until the butter pieces are roughly the size of peas. Add the first tablespoon of ice water and pulse. If the dough feels dry, add the second tablespoon. Do not add too much water. You don’t want a wet dough. The dough should merely stick together when you pinch it between your fingers.
Tumble the dart dough out onto your tart shell. (We use a rectangular one like this one.) Press it into the pan with your fingers. Press all along the bottom, then push the dough up the sides of the pan. Make the dough uniform thickness. Chill it in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
Baking the tart. While the tart shell is chilling, preheat the oven to 375°. Prick the bottom of the tart shell with a fork, to prevent it from bubbling up. Bake for 15 minutes, then check to see if any part is puffing up. If so, use that fork again. Bake until the tart shell is brown and firm, about 10 more minutes. Pull the tart shell out of the oven and allow it to cool.
Finishing the tart. Mix the chevre and basil together, then spread it evenly over the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange the tomato slices over the chevre. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.