24
Jul
10

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

We’re finally settling into a routine. It’s been four weeks since I returned to work, and two weeks since our 10-month-old started daycare. It’s not as crazy around here as it was 14 days ago. Still, finding time to cook during the week is tough.  Making this fabulous tart on a Tuesday night felt like a coup.

I must disclose that I did come home from work early. I picked Gabi up from daycare around 2, stopped at the store, put her down for a nap and made the tart dough.  By 5:30 the tart was ready to pop in the oven. It was about then that two of my favorite people — Colleen and Don — knocked on the door. They were passing through town on their way from Providence, RI to Seattle. They’re about to move to Hawaii, lucky them, and they were staying  the night with us.

I put the tart in the oven a couple hours later, when Gabi was down for the night. We ate it with a green salad and crisp white wine.

The tomatoes and onions are sweet, the crust is flaky and buttery, and the goat cheese lends offers tome tang. Make this tart once and you’ll want to make it again and again.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart
Gourmet Today

1  recipe Basic Pastry Dough (see below) or 1 (9-inch) prepared pie dough thawed if frozen (not pie shells)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, very thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 ounces soft, mild goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/3 cups)
3/4 pound plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
Garnish: sliced fresh basil leaves

Special equipment: a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom; pie weights or raw rice

Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375°F.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into an 11-inch round. Fit dough into tart pan. Trim excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang inward and press against side of pan to reinforce edge. Lightly prick bottom and sides with a fork.

Line tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges are pale golden, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove weights and foil and bake shell until golden, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool on a rack. Increase oven temperature to 400.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking.  Add onion with salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Spread onion over bottom of tart shell. Top with all but 1/3 cup goat cheese. Arrange tomatoes, slightly overlapping, in concentric circles over cheese. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil.

Bake until cheese begins to brown slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool tart on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove rim of pan and garnish tart with basil.

Serves 4

Basic Pastry Dough

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening, preferably trans fat-free

Blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in food processor) just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-sized) butter lumps.

Drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water evenly over mixture. Gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated. Squeeze a small handful of dough: if it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until incorporated. Do not overwork, or pastry will be tough.

turn dough out onto a work surface. Divide dough into 4 portions. With hell of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather all dough together, press into a ball, and flatten into a 5-inch disk. If dough is sticky, dust lightly with additional flour. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.  Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. It can also be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 1 month.

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