Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Three Tomato Tart and The Adventures of Gardening!

My beautiful Three Tomato Tart
One of my fondest memories of childhood was of my grandfathers' garden. My mother used to say he just looked at a plant and it grew. My grandmother, her friends and my mom used to do canning all summer long. The peaches and tomatoes seemed to ripen at the same time and we would pick baskets and baskets of them. That's when my grandmother and mom would get to work prepping all that fruit. They also made plenty of jam. Peach, raspberry, and quince. My grandfather gardened about a half an acre. He also planted corn on a neighbors lot next to ours. In addition, he had a small peach orchard, which I've mentioned before. Recently my brother and I were discussing the peach orchard and I told him our grandfather had well over a 100 trees....well, that's what it seemed like to my 10 year old self. In reality, it was probably more like 30 or 40.  Lately, I've been thinking of my grandfather and how he would handle a pesky chipmunk, who happens to beat me every morning to the best of my tomatoes and blackberries.  I have been battling him all summer and I can't win! I've covered my berries with netting but he still seems to find a way in.  Now he has moved on to my tomatoes. For the last 2 weeks, he has gotten every tomato just as they started to ripen. I've started to pick the tomatoes while still green and let them ripen on my window sill.  Last night he had gotten at least 3 very large tomatoes, that were just about ready to be picked and a handful of cherry tomatoes. Now here is the kicker...We have set a humane trap to capture him. I use the parts of the tomatoes he has left behind as bait. I place it right near the hole that he burrowed in between my rows of carrots. For 3 days straight he has somehow taken out the tomato and managed to not get trapped. My husband thinks the chipmunk is so clever that he deserves whatever gets...I want to kill the little beast! Don't get me wrong...I am a non violent person. And chipmunks are very cute! That's why I have a humane trap and not a rat trap...but this little creature is out smarting me and I feel like Mr. McGregor with Peter Rabbit.

Note the two big tomatoes...partly eaten
His hole between my rows of carrots
Little bites out of many tomatoes
P S...Gotcha...finally! When I woke this morning there he was in the trap...he has since been moved to an undisclosed location!

Well, I'm here to share my tomato tart recipe. I know you'll really enjoy this tart. It is a lovely side dish or just great for a light lunch or appetizer.  I found this recipe in Better Homes and Gardens years ago and it is still a stand by! I really enjoy eating vegetable tarts or pies for lunch...add a lovely salad and you have a wonderful meal. Hope you enjoy!


Three-Tomato Tart

Bake: 35 min.

ingredients:

Pastry for Single-Crust Pie

3 
tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 
egg whites
1 
cup low-fat ricotta cheese
2 
cloves garlic, minced
1 
tablespoon snipped fresh lemon thyme or thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
2 
large tomatoes, sliced
5
 yellow or red cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 
red cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 
tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
2 
teaspoons snipped fresh lemon thyme or thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
directions



Prepare your favorite Pastry for Single-Crust Pie. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Transfer to a 10-inch tart pan; ease pastry into pan. Trim pastry even with rim of pan. Do not prick pastry. Line pastry shell with a double thickness of foil. Bake pastry in a 450 degree F oven for 5 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes more or until pastry is set and dry. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Sprinkle tart shell with Parmesan cheese. I used an Italian 3 cheese blend for the bottom of the crust along with some grated mozzarella.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl beat egg whites slightly. Stir in ricotta cheese, garlic, and the 1 tablespoon thyme; spread over pastry.
Overlap large tomato slices in a circle around edge. Arrange yellow cherry tomato slices in a circle within the tomato ring. Fill center with red cherry tomato slices. Stir together olive oil or cooking oil and the 2 teaspoons thyme. I also used some chopped fresh basil.  Brush tomatoes with oil mixture.
 
Bake tart in a 325 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through and nearly set. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftover tart. Makes 10 to 12 appetizer servings.

My pie crust
Rolled out and placed into quiche pan
Baked crust
Cheese added to the bottom of crust
Ready for the oven
This is a really delicious tart

7 comments:

  1. Your tomato tart looks just lovely and you've also shared some great family memories that remind me of some happy family history. I'm glad there was a good ending to your pesky critter ruining your veggie garden problem. Our main problem is quail eating, or nibbling strawberries and I think I will cover them with net next year. I really want to make a tomato tart or pie this month;-)

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  2. What a delightful story, Kathy! I am so glad you were able to outsmart that little guy. Your tart looks beautiful and so delicious!

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  3. Your tart is very pretty and tasty looking. I especially like the two yellow cherry tomatoes in the middle!

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  4. What a riot - from a distance, I'm sure! I'm glad you caught him! Last summer, I walked out into my garden anticipating ripe peaches and, instead, discovered 25 peach pits scattered all over the patio - our intruders were possums who always waited just until the peaches were ripe. How do they know that?

    I may have just enough ricotta left from the zucchini tart to make this one, too. It's gorgeous & my husband would love it!

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  5. This was too cute! Tho I'm sure you don't feel that way! Hopefully he doesn't have any family hanging around to visit your garden! Your tart is gorgeous, I love the step by step photos being prepared, it was making my mouth water!

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  6. The tart looks delicious, and I loved the story. I've been craving tomatoes recently and trying to have them as much as possible. I'll definitely add this to my list of recipes to make!

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  7. Oh, this looks outstanding, Kathy! I'm so sorry about your critter woes...darn that chipmunk!!!

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