Saturday 5 September 2009

tomato & mozzarella tart with basil-garlic crust

tomato mozzarella tart 1

Food blogging is one of those things which starts off fairly rationally ('oh, I'll just take a quick picture and copy/paste this recipe up for future reference') and ends up taking over your life and sanity ('NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO EAT UNTIL I'VE PHOTO'D THIS, AND I DON'T CARE HOW COLD IT IS. AND NO, YOU CAN DAMN WELL HAVE THE CHIPPED PLATE, I NEED THE WHITE ONE. NOW SHUT THE HELL UP WHILE I TRY TO THINK OF SOMETHING WITTY TO SAY'). It's maybe not the best hobby to take up if you want to make friends, although you'd be amazed at what eccentricities people will forgive when a tray of brownies is in it for them.

There are a few things which are incredibly frustrating to a blogger. One is a great recipe which photographs appallingly, especially if it involves seasonal produce. You know you're going to have to make it again, and then you can't get the fruit or whatever it is you need, and it's going to be another year before it's back in season - ugh. (I have a stunning rhubarb & orange cake sitting on my hard-drive - not literally; the crumbs would get on my keyboard - which embodies this very problem)

tomato mozzarella tart 2

The other problem is similar, but less common. When you make something, and you photo it - and then you take it to a party and can't get pictures of the inside (oh cake, how you taunt me) before it's inhaled.

OR, when you make a kickass tomato and mozzarella tart in that tiny interval of time before the summer's tomatoes vanish forever, with a glut of tiny, perfect red-and-orange tomatoes donated by your charming and lovely friend Alex and her greenfingered father (who apparently has had great success with tomatoes and courgettes this season), and it's pretty much the cutest, most photogenic thing you've ever seen in your life. And then you go out for the night, and when you come back the next morning you find that the ENTIRE 10" TART has been ENGULFED by the THREE members of your family, IN ONE NIGHT.

Not that this has ever happened to me -- OH, WAIT.

But when am I ever going to see such adorable tomatoes again; in 2009, at least? I had to post it anyway. Because let's face it, I may not have personal feedback here - but the rate at which this tart vanished is, in itself, a pretty good review.

if the whole world was made of tomatoes it would look a bit like this.

Don't miss me too much: I'm spending the next week in a tent in Scotland (in September. Yes, I know. Wettest holiday ever), so won't be around until next Sunday. Assuming your comments give me the will to survive the drowning hazard this camping trip entails (hinting, much?) I will be back soon with the sugar high you've been waiting for. Three clues for you: Chocolate. Peanut butter. Cake.

Okay, so they weren't so much 'clues' as the recipe title. Don't wait up!

Tomato & Mozzarella Tart with Basil-Garlic Crust
via Ezra Pound Cake
Adapted from Jack Bishop’s The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook

I know tomatoes are almost gone, but Alex had so many that I told myself it was okay to post this now - surely she can't be the only one with three giant ice cream tubs full of tomatoes at his time of year? Besides, that should just spur you all to hurry all the more to try this. If you're a Caprese salad fan, this is a much more fun and interesting way to get the same flavours; not to mention that the basil-garlic tart dough is charmingly green-hued before baking. Easily amused, moi?

1 recipe Basil-Garlic Tart Dough (recipe follows)
(8 oz)
sliced mozzarella
(1 pound) ripe tomatoes -
if fullsized, core and cut crosswise into thin slices. I used teeny ones, cut into halves.
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Prepare the dough, and press it into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.

2. Preheat the oven to 190C. Line the bottom of the tart shell with mozzarella. Arrange the tomatoes over the cheese in a ring around the edge of the tart and a second ring in the center. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.

3. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has started to brown in spots, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes before slicing. (The tart may be covered and kept at room temperature for 6 hours.)

Basil-Garlic Tart Dough
hanful (1/3 cup)
fresh basil leaves
1 medium garlic clove
(1 1/4 cups)
plain flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
(1 stick)
unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 8 to 10 pieces
4-5 tablespoons ice water

1. Place the basil and garlic in the work bowl of a food processor. Process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until finely chopped. Add flour and salt; pulse to combine.

2. Add butter. Pulse about 10 times, or until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs.

3. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing several times after each addition. After 4 tablespoons water have been added, process the dough for several seconds to see if the mixture forms a ball. If not, add remaining water. Process until dough forms into a ball. Remove dough from processor.

4. Flatten the dough into a 5-inch disk. Wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (The dough can be placed in a zipper-lock plastic bag and refrigerated for several days or frozen for 1 month. If frozen, defrost the dough in the refrigerator.)

5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Lay the dough over the tart pan, and press it into the pan. Trim the dough, and proceed with the recipe as directed.

i like the orange ones.


Sophie said...

first comment! i love it....but stop reffing alex so much and get back to reffing me, babes <3

Irina @ PastryPal said...

Don't I know what you mean. I practically have a "Do Not Touch" shelf in the refrigerator of foods and ingredients about to get photographed. The blog becomes the baby that needs to get fed first.
I happen to think the tart looks beautiful. I love that tart shell shape and the tomato slices looks so pretty with all the sizes and colors.

Have a great time out in the sogginess.

Irina @ PastryPal said...

Don't I know what you mean. I practically have a "Do Not Touch" shelf in the refrigerator of foods and ingredients about to get photographed. The blog becomes the baby that needs to get fed first.
I happen to think the tart looks beautiful. I love that tart shell shape and the tomato slices looks so pretty with all the sizes and colors.

Have a great time out in the sogginess.

Tres Jolie Studios said...

I loooveee your photos! The pretty little tomatoes have my mouth watering. This looks like the perfect late summer recipe. Yum!

Anna said...

Sophie - I can't help it if Alex gave me tomatoes! Obviously the secret to being referenced on HLS is to give me food/ingredients; have you considered that? Just sayin'.

Clair said...

Nom Nom Nom Nom!
Looks Amazing..
And Camping will be magical if not a little wet..the weather forecast is looking more promising it is apparently only going to absolutely chuck it down at night..and today...=D =D

Rhyleysgranny said...

Indigo that tart looks amazing. I have tomatoes that are just ripening and no more. I need to make this. Oh dear you have the tears streaming down my face with laughter. You have the photo/blogging thing off to a T.
Ha Ha Ha Ha haaaaahaaaaaaahaaaaaa :)

Chocolate Shavings said...

I hear your frustrations about blogging about certain things... this tart however, seems like a real blog winner!

Leah said...

Back me a British theme cake, k?!

Lucy said...

I totally understand the photography Dad once ate the very last cookie I had been planning to photograph which was clearly labelled DO NOT EAT! This tart is a stunner, I love tomato tarts and really like the idea of the flavourful crust :)

Isabelle said...

Gorgeous tart. It looks absolutely delicious... hopefully my little cherry tomato plant will come through with just a few more tomatoes so I can try this out.

oneordinaryday said...

Oh, you made me laugh. My husband makes fun of me about the photos shoots before dinner hits the table. LOL He's a good sport though, and is often the guy holding up the fabric behind my food shots.

This tart looks wonderful!

Kerstin said...

What a gorgeous tart, we could have easily finished it off in one night too!

Hope you have a great time in Scotland!

peasepudding said...

I know exactly what you mean, it becomes an obsession. I made Easter cupcakes this year and because the weather was so bad with no good light to photograph (I hadn't worked out how to use shutter speed and aps at that stage :o) It was about 10 days before I could photo three that survived because I hid them. P then pipes up, "I was wondering where the rest went, can I eat them now". Errh I wouldn't if I were you they are a bit old and crusty, just look nice for the photo :o)

Jane said...

So true, so true! Since starting a baking blog I've come to realize that the best thing about having a blog is that it's so fun you want to work on it all the time. And the worst thing about having a blog is that it's so fun you want to work on it all the time. A double-edged sword if ever there was one!

Great post!

grace said...

bah! how thoughtless of your family to devour your creation like that. only thinking of themselves. :)
meanwhile, it's a lovely tart (how could it not be). hope you have/had a lovely time in the slightly moist region known as scotland. :)

Ingrid_3Bs said...

LOL, stay dry!

Bombay Foodie said...

I've been looking for a savory eggless tart for ages, and this just might be it. We don't have tomato season, we have the whole tomato year so this goes on my list to try.

Palidor said...

The tart looks wonderful! I understand your frustration with the photographs. That's one reason why I hate giving away cakes if I'm not going to be there when it's cut - I never get a picture of the inside.

Sam@BingeNYC said...

I just made something pretty similar to this - Your crust sounds incredible! Must try it next time. Delish.

PG said...

I have no idea what you're talking recipes are always beautiful and the first picture I take is perfect, so I post it. Plus, I'm always witty.

...and maybe a big liar.

Looks really nice -- I overdosed on buying tomatoes recently...this would be a great use for them (Even though they're plum and maybe not as cute a final produce).

Unknown said...

I just made this using a sheep's milk Halloumi and a mix of Brandy Wine and Italian Seed Saver's tomatoes and OH MY GOD it was fabulous. Thank you for the recipe.

viagra online said...

Hey guys!
I love the mozzarella cheese and almost always at my meals I add basil to taste better. but I honestly found that a recipe is delicious as this tomato & mozzarella tart with basil-garlic crust that meets both. the blog is excellent thank you very much.

chika said...

the tart looks gorgeous with those preeeetty little tomato slices! and about the food-blogging thing, SO TRUE!!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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