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Tomato Tart

“You say tomaato, I say tomauto.” Whatever!  The brightly colored, highly anticipated round, red fruit is all over Dallas and is bursting with summer flavor. 

There is something about Texas and tomatoes. And when they are ripe and ready, you see them everywhere.  A church member brought in vine-ripened, home grown tomatoes to share with parishioners last Sunday and another some home grown tomatoes and Texas sized cucumbers and squash.  Central Market has a huge bin of tomatoes on display advertising “tomatoes from Jacksonville.”  Jimmy’s Food Store has a hand printed sign in the window that reads “East Texas Tomatoes.” 

Texans love tomatoes.  And we don’t need a recipe. You may remember as a child confiscating the salt shaker from the table (yes it was kept right there by the napkin holder) and heading to the backyard for a snack right off the vine.  Today, we serve them on the side, add them to salads, sandwiches, soups—even garnish a breakfast plate of bacon and eggs with a slice of tomato. 

Plus, like any other fruit (and tomatoes are a fruit but often used as a vegetable in savory dishes) they can become a pie or tart, wrapped and baked in a flaky pie crust. 

A tomato tart is a great dish for a summer brunch or light lunch.  I made one and it turned out beautifully—and delicious. 

Here is what you need! 

Equipment:

Two-piece tart pan with fluted edges and removable flat bottom. 

Ingredients:

Pie dough for one-crust pie

½ cup cheese (grated) I used gruyere

Tomatoes!  I sliced one very large East Texas tomato and it filled a medium tart pan.  (You can use cherry or colored heirlooms if you wish.)

½ small sweet onion like Noonday or Vidalia (thinly sliced)

Fresh Basil for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste 

This is so simple and making it even more simple (besides only five ingredients) is the dough puck that I purchased at Central Market. The puck is an HEB exclusive and has been in Central Market since last fall.  However, I only recently discovered it and I am impressed by its taste, texture and ease of handling.  

The Dough Puck originated at The Texas Pie Company in Kyle, Texas and is used for all of their baked goods. 

I was so impressed with the product that I called The Texas Pie Company to let them know how much I love the dough puck.  Chef Julie Albertson came to the phone. 

“We’ve been using the dough for thirty years, and decided that we needed to let others in on our secret,” Chef Julie said. 

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly spray tart pan sides and bottom with non-stick spray.  Roll thawed dough between two pieces of wax paper, forming a circle an inch or so larger than your tart pan. 

Gently turn dough into pan and press dough into fluted sides.  Trim excess off top using a sharp knife.  Refrigerate. 

Slowly cook the onion slices in a sauté pan on top of a low to medium heated burner.  Slow roasting brings out the sugar and the caramel flavor of the onion.  Don’t burn them.  When they are caramel in color they are ready. 

Spread the onions evenly over the chilled crust. Arrange tomatoes slices over onions in a circle.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Top with grated cheese.  Bake 20-25 minutes until crust is golden and cheese melted.  Garnish with a chiffonade of basil. 

Serve a slice of this with a green salad at your next lunch or next to a pile of fluffy scrambled eggs for brunch. 

Plus the variations are endless; I am making a second tomato tart omitting the onion and gruyere and substituting chive, thyme and goat cheese.

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