Happy Spring! Hooray for making it through the winter! (At least on the calendar anyway :) I just wanted to let you know that Ginger of the West: A Witches of Broomfield Bay Cozy Mystery -- the paranormal cozy that I've been working on with best-selling author Jools Sinclair -- is coming out in early April. Yippee!! This book has been so fun to work on with Jools, and I'm so excited that the first installment is finally coming out. In honor of its spring release, I asked Jools to share a recipe on my blog here. She went with a drool-worthy recipe that we mention in the book: a Tomato Tart that Ginger, the main character, makes for her crazy witchy aunt, Aunt Viv. This tart has become one of my very favorite meals, and it's perfect for the warmer days ahead. So without further ado, here's the recipe with a little introduction by Jools!
Jools Sinclair Says:
Ginger knows that there is true magic in excellent food prepared with fresh ingredients and lots of love, so it’s no wonder that this rich and soul-satisfying French Tomato Tart recipe is one of her must-make-often dishes. It’s also one of Aunt Viv’s favorites, and she reminds Ginger of that by returning the empty tart pan as soon as every last bit of the buttery crust has disappeared, in hopes that another tart will soon be on its way.
In a perfect world, you’d always use your own tomatoes growing outside in the garden, but if you don’t live in that kind of world or it’s simply off season, no biggie. Just make sure the tomatoes you do purchase are chemical-free and flavorful.
This recipe is featured (and was found on) David Lebovitz’ blog, who in turn got it from Kate Hill. It’s highly recommended to add a glass or two of your favorite rose, and to sit in some sunshine when consuming.
Tomato Goat Cheese Tart
One unbaked tart dough (see recipe below)
Dijon or whole-grain mustard
2-3 large ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
two generous tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, chives, chervil, or tarragon
8 ounces (250g) fresh or slightly aged goat cheese, sliced into rounds
Optional: 1 1/2 tablespoons flavorful honey
1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
4 1/2 ounces (125g) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2-3 tablespoons cold water
1. Make the dough by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and use your hands, or a pastry blender, to break in the butter until the mixture has a crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.
2. Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of the water. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg mixture, stirring the mixture until the dough holds together. If it’s not coming together easily, add the additional tablespoon of ice water.
3. Gather the dough into a ball and roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, adding additional flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.
4. Once the dough is large enough so that it will cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides, roll the dough around the rolling pin then unroll it over the tart pan. “Dock” the bottom of the pastry firmly with your fingertips a few times, pressing in to make indentations.
If making a freestyle tart, simply transfer the dough to a prepared baking sheet; no need to make indentations with your fingers.
5. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC). See note below.
6. Spread an even layer of mustard over the bottom of the tart dough and let it sit a few minutes to dry out.
7. Slice the tomatoes and arrange them over the mustard in a single, even layer. Drizzle the olive oil over the top.
8. Sprinkle with some chopped fresh herbs, then arrange the slices of goat cheese on top. Add some more fresh herbs, then drizzle with some honey, if using.
(If baking a free-form tart, gather the edges when you’re done, to envelope the filling.)
9. Bake the tart for 30 minutes or so, until the dough is cooked, the tomatoes are tender, and the cheese on top is nicely browned. Depending on the heat of your oven, if the cheese doesn’t brown as much as you’d like it, you might want to pass it under the broiler until it’s just right.
*You might wish to check the tart midway through baking and turn it down a bit in case the top is getting too dark, before the crust and tomatoes appear to be cooked.
***If you wish to make a free-style tart, roll the dough out to about 14-inches across, then transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Assemble the tart, leaving a 2-inch (5 cm) border, which you’ll then fold up to enclose the tart.
Jools & MM :)