Simple yet stunning, this tomato galette turns juicy, ripe tomatoes into a satisfying, delicious meal. Gouda and smoked mozzarella provide a rich, slightly smoky backdrop to the bright tomato flavor.
Roasted tomatoes really shine against a backdrop of rich caramelized onions, nutty Gruyere cheese, and flaky pastry crust in this tomato & onion tart recipe.
Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes What would life be without home grown tomatoes? Only two things that money can’t buy That’s true love and home grown tomatoes It’s playing on a constant loop right now since I’m popping little tomatoes in my mouth just as quickly as the plants produce them in these golden days of summer. Tomatoes are like candy, only better, since you can eat them all you want without any of the sugary guilt. While the zucchini harvest sometimes requires creativity, disposing of an abundance of tomatoes poses no such challenges. There’s no scarcity of dishes that give summer tomatoes’ sweet, bright flavor center stage. On bread or pasta, there’s really nothing finer than chopped fresh tomatoes tossed with basil and olive oil. And as far as lunch goes, what’s better than thick tomato slices tucked in a sandwich along with bacon and lettuce? When I’m feeling the need to get more elegant, though, I make tomato & onion tart.
Blue cheese, sauteed leeks, and wilted spinach provide a savory backdrop for thinly sliced apples in this Blue Cheese Apple Tart.
In the past several weeks, we’ve canned three giant batches of applesauce. We’ve produced several dozen apple cinnamon rolls. We’ve added diced apples to dishes of all kinds, including the stuffing for our Thanksgiving turkey. And, of course, we’ve made apple pies.
We still have apples.
When you live in a small house, having a lot of apples causes logistical problems. The laundry basket that we filled with apples still sits in the middle of our tiny kitchen. I keep moving it around so I can sweep the floor. Someone trips over it at least once a day.
I’m not complaining. I like apples….
This Skillet Polenta with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese recipe is simple and delicious. Top freshly-made polenta with sun-ripened tomatoes, garlic, herbs, pine nuts, and lots of cheese and roast it in your oven for a simple, delicious meal.
We’ve grown close to amazing friends in each spot. Happily, scientist friends we’ve met along the way have similar geographical requirements, and so, not so coincidentally, we often find ourselves together again in a different beach town.
When we lived in Santa Barbara, CA, our friend Carrie and her husband moved there from Pacific Grove, CA, — our former home — after she finished her Ph.D program. Carrie headed south before her husband and stayed with us while she looked for a place for to live. The first day she arrived, she offered to make us dinner….
Sweet caramelized onions, rich candied bacon, and nutty, smooth Gruyere cheese all wrapped up in flaky crust combine perfectly in this Candied Bacon and Onion Tart.
My daughters hate onions. The presence of onions in breakfast, lunch, or dinner sets off moaning and groaning, so I’ve become adept at disguising them. In macaroni and cheese, for example, I caramelize them, puree them, and then mix them into the sauce. As long as no one mentions onions, the girls love my macaroni and cheese.
On its own, the bacon hit the jackpot. Eliza and Tessa nibbled bacon “candy” as I prepped dinner. I finally had to cut them off so I’d have enough for dinner.I crossed my fingers that the bacon’s sugar-coated charm wouldn’t turn cloying in the tart.
At dinner, Eliza and Tessa ate like I’ve never seen them eat before. And after they’d each scarfed down one slice in nothing flat, they both asked for seconds. And those onions? They never even came up, not even once. Keep it quiet, would you?
Candied Bacon and Onion Tart
Inspired by Epicurious.com.
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut in 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup ice water, strained
6 thick-cut bacon slices
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 large eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup packed, grated Gruyère cheese
Whirl dry ingredients for crust in the bowl of a food processor. Add half a stick of the butter and process until you no longer see chunks. Add remaining butter and process briefly, leaving chunks the size of peanuts. Working quickly, turn on the food processor and pour the ice water through the feed tube, stopping before the dough comes together. Pinch a bit of the dough between your fingers. If it does not stick together, add a couple of teaspoons more water and whirl briefly. Turn out the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to help you create a large, flat disk: fold the edges of the dough toward the center and press down to smooth out the roughness. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400° F and place the oven rack in the top half of the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top of the foil. Mix brown sugar and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Sprinkle about half the mixture evenly over the tops of the bacon slices. Press sugar firmly into the bacon; turn bacon over and repeat. Lay the bacon slices on the prepared rack. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until bacon has cooked to desired crispness. Set aside to cool. Once cool, chop bacon into bite size pieces.
While bacon is cooking, heat two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Add white wine and cook until it has evaporated.
Whisk cream, eggs, salt and pepper, and nutmeg in small bowl to blend.
Roll out dough into a 13-inch circle. Transfer to an 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom set on a baking sheet. Fold the dough’s overhanging edge down inside the tart pan–pressing gently to help it adhere–so its top edge is even with the top of the tart pan. Spread onions over the bottom of the crust. Add bacon and then cheese. Pour the egg and cream mixture over the top.
Bake on the middle rack at 400° F until the tart is puffed, the filling is set, and the crust is pale golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. If the filling begins to brown too much for your liking, slide a baking sheet on the top rack of the oven to diffuse the heat. Cool tart on rack 10 minutes. Remove pan sides. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The deep, lush sweetness of caramelized onions paired with goat cheese in these savory Caramelized Onion Tarts creates a flavor sensation.
I‘m not opposed to the giddy sweetness of Valentine’s Day. Chocolates, roses, champagne? Yes, please.
But ever since one of my students presented Carol Ann Duffy’s “Valentine” as part of her poetry final project five years ago, I can’t think about Valentine’s Day without thinking of onions. Sound crazy?
I hate throwing away food, especially food that I’ve dreamed of combining in pots and pans rather than in the garbage can. To prevent food carnage, I need to go to the store every day, or at least every other day if we’re up for pantry dinner roulette.
Sometimes, though, I take a chance on foods that I know won’t spoil quickly. But even then I usually veer into unexpected territory.
Take the squash I bought last week.
I planned to turn it into butternut squash risotto, a meal that’s simple to prepare, tasty to eat, and splendid to heat up at work the next day for lunch. Mostly, though, the recipe features bacon. Need I say more?
But my week got busy. Evening plans rearranged and changed. Eventually I used the bacon for something else, so we ate no butternut squash risotto.
Butternut Squash Galette
Adapted from Epicurious. Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon sage leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 tablespoons ice-cold water
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced crosswise
salt and pepper, to taste
6-8 ounces soft mild goat cheese, crumbled into large chunks
Pulse flour, butter, sage, and salt in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle ice water evenly over mixture and pulse until it just forms a ball, taking care not to overwork dough. Gently press dough into a flat disk about 5 inches in diameter. Chill dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, while you prepare filling.
Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in middle.
Toss squash with salt and 1 tablespoon oil and arrange in 1 layer in a 17-by 12-inch shallow baking pan. Roast, stirring once halfway through roasting, until golden brown on edges and undersides, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove squash from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
Meanwhile, wash leeks, then cook in remaining 2 tablespoons oil with a pinch of salt in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add squash, salt and pepper, and toss gently. Set aside to cool slightly.
Roll out dough into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Scatter most of the goat cheese evenly in the center of the dough, leaving a 2- to 3-inch border. Arrange butternut squash filling over the goat cheese, and then top with remaining cheese. Fold dough in on itself to cover outer rim of filling, pleating dough as necessary. Brush pastry with beaten egg and bake galette until crust is cooked through and golden on edges, 35 to 45 minutes. Place baking sheet on a rack and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
On Wednesdays this summer, I’m supposed to work on the astronomy class I need to finish in order to achieve “highly qualified” status for teaching high school science. Summertime Wednesdays also bring “Music on the Lawn,” which means we get to pack up a picnic dinner and go listen to live music at the San Juan Island Historical Museum. The lawn at the museum, surrounded by a hodgepodge of old structures, was once part of the 445-acre James King farm. Four of the original buildings stand, and four others were relocated here for posterity’s sake. The featured band always plays on the front porch of the Scribner Log Cabin.
Folding chairs and picnic blankets dot the grass. Adults eat, listen, and watch the island kids run wild. Sometimes my own kids wander back to our blanket with a plateful of food that looks better to them than whatever we brought. If their scavenged dinner doesn’t consist of a pile of gum drops, I’m just happy that they’ll eat without a fight.
So, on this Wednesday afternoon, I took a break from my astronomy work to start on my other important assignment: making an easy and portable dinner. In my fridge’s crisper drawer, I found the beet greens that I couldn’t part with the other day.
Once I got started, the tart came together quickly, so I decided I should make some macaroni and cheese as well. My brother-in-law was arriving with his family from California, and I wasn’t sure that his kids would love the tart as much as I knew I would. My daughters would thank me for the mac ‘n cheese as well, and probably my friends, too, who wouldn’t have to feed my children again.
My husband’s brother made my day when he started talking about the “generosity” of the tart crust. His wife raved about the beet salad that I threw together. My niece bravely tried the tart and was too polite to say she didn’t like it. Everyone loved the mac ‘n cheese.
Full bellies, bluegrass music, golden sunshine, visiting family, dear friends, silly kids, belly laughter. I love “Music on the Lawn.”
Beet Green and Goat Cheese Tart
You can make this with any type of greens or a combination of greens. Try spinach, chard, or kale.
Serves 6-8 people.
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into thick slices
1/4 cup ice water, strained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 pound greens, stems removed and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil
salt and pepper, to taste
3 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Whirl dry ingredients for crust in the bowl of a food processor. Add half a stick of butter and process until you no longer see chunks. Add remaining butter and process briefly, leaving chunks the size of peanuts. Working quickly, turn on the food processor and pour the ice water through the feed tube, stopping before the dough comes together. Pinch a bit of the dough between your fingers. If it does not stick together, add a couple of teaspoons more water and whirl briefly. Turn out the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to help you create a large, flat disk: fold the edges of the dough toward the center and press down to smooth out the roughness. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add greens and cook until wilted and tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil, salt and pepper. Lightly beat together eggs and cream. Add egg mixture to sauteed greens. Gently stir in goat cheese.
Roll out dough into a 13-inch circle. Transfer to an 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Fold overhanging edge down inside the tart pan, pressing gently to help it adhere. Pour filling inside and spread it evenly. Bake in an oven heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit until the crust is golden and the filling is set, about 40 to 45 minutes. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.