Summer Tomatoes at their Best!

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It’s that time of year when the tomatoes are ripening on the vine, giving off that delicious warm heady scent and just tempting you to pick ’em and eat ’em! I’ll admit, there really is nothing that compares to a yard-ripened tomato, and I’ve chowed them down fresh-picked as much as I cook with them.

But, it’s always fun to find a new way to enjoy them, and this Galette is the perfect way to showcase the flavors — and colors — of our seductive nightshade.

A Galette may sound fancy, but it’s anything BUT! Basically a free-form tart, it can be made sweet or savory. In this case, I show you how to make the crust, but you can also use a store-bought pie crust if you haven’t the time, or desire, to make one from scratch.

Then, once our dough is made and rolled out, we will top it with an herb-enhanced goat cheese spread, then shingle a mix of colorful heirloom tomatoes over that. I think the more colors you can use, the prettier it looks, but use the best of what’s available. You can also mix sizes…large red beefsteaks like Purple Cherokee look great when topped with slices of small yellow cherry tomatoes, for example. Have fun with it!

The crust gets folded over the tomatoes in a somewhat random fashion (I like making a six-sided tart, but the width of the folds does NOT need to be perfect!) before brushing with egg wash and sprinkling with a flaky sea salt (like Maldon).

Pop the assembled Galette into a 400 degree oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. I like to top the baked tart with shreds of fresh basil, but sage leaves are nice, too.

The tart is wonderful served warm, but it also makes a great room-temperature dish, perhaps to share at a picnic or as a starter for an outdoor gathering!

Happy Summer! Let me know how you like this!

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Heirloom Tomato & Goat Cheese Galette

Course: Appetizer
Keyword: best summer tomato recipes, cherry tomatoes, free form tart, galette, how to preserve tomatoes, savory tart

Ingredients

For the crust

  • cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 10 Tbs cold unsalted butter cut into ¼-inch pats
  • 3 Tbs ice water
  • 1 tsp cold apple cider vinegar

For the filling

  • 1 lb colorful heirloom tomatoes thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs chopped chives
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 clove garlic grated or minced
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbs water
  • Fresh basil for garnish
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

For the Crust

  • In a food processor, place 1 cup of the flour and the salt. Pulse to combine. Spread the butter pats evenly on top of the flour mixture. Pulse until the butter is well combined with the flour and the dough starts to form clumps. There should be no dry flour remaining.
  • Spread the mixture evenly in the bowl of the food processor and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup flour on top. Briefly pulse until the dough becomes crumbly.
  • Transfer the dough to a large bowl and sprinkle the water and vinegar on top. Use a spatula to fold and press the dough until it comes together into a ball. Form the ball into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.

For the Filling

  • Place the tomato slices on a large platter or baking sheet and gently toss with the salt. Set aside for 30 minutes to draw excess moisture out of the tomatoes. Drain and transfer to paper towels or kitchen towels to soak up additional moisture while you assemble the galette.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the goat cheese, olive oil, chives, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, and several grinds of pepper until creamy.

To Assemble the Galette

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water.
  • Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Dust the top with flour and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a 12-inch circle about ⅛-inch thick. As you work, rotate the dough a quarter turn every few rolls to prevent it from sticking to your work surface.
  • To transfer the rolled-out dough to the prepared baking sheet, roll the dough over your rolling pin and unroll it onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread the goat cheese mixture in the center of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Arrange the tomato slices on top and fold the edges of the dough over the edges of the tomatoes, leaving the center of the filling exposed. Brush the crust with the egg wash. Sprinkle crust edges with sea salt flakes.
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet. Garnish with fresh basil. Slice into wedges and serve warm, or at room temperature.

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