The Chicks have had a bountiful harvest of tomatoes from the community garden at CRC World Headquarters this year. Chick One is the gardener. Chick Two is the consumer since she proudly states that “I don’t stick my hands in dirt on purpose.” That’s O.K. I find gardening – particularly in a small, controllable patch of dirt – very relaxing. And satisfying in an industrial area where vegetation is sparse.
The other day, I was leaving CRC and stopped to check if the front door was locked. There was a car in the parking lot and a woman sitting in it just staring at the tomato plants. I worried that I’d forgotten an appointment and approached her window. “Sorry,” she said. “I don’t know you. I have a meeting somewhere else in a half an hour and I just like looking at your garden.”
So since we have so many tomatoes I’m looking for different ways to use them and the roasted tomato and bacon tart just popped into my head. If you don’t want to make your own crust, you can use store bought. Really the tomatoes and bacon are the stars.
Roasted tomato and bacon tart
For the tomatoes:
6 medium tomatoes
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of sugar
Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Slice the tomatoes in half, cutting off the tops and bottoms so the tomatoes sit flat in a rimmed cookie sheet lined with foil. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.
Roast for 3-4 hours until the tomatoes are soft and beginning to brown.
For the crust:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick well-chilled Crisco baking stick
3 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water
Blend the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the Crisco into 1/2 –inch cubes and add to the bowl. Pulse until the Crisco is approximately the size of peas. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and pulse four or five times. If there is still unincorporated flour, add water a tablespoon at a time until you can pinch the dough and it holds together.
Form into a disk on plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
To roll out, place another piece of plastic wrap on top of the disk and roll the dough until it is large enough to fit in the tart pan with the dough slightly overlapping the top of the pan.
Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to cool while you make the filling.
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¾ cup Swiss cheese, grated
9 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
Salt and pepper
Paint the bottom of the crust with the mustard. Top with cheese and make a single layer with the bacon. Top with roasted tomatoes.
Whisk together the cream, milk and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the tomatoes until it reaches ¾ of the way up the crust (you will probably have more mixture than you need).
Bake the tart at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.