While I've waxed on and on about my overly obsessive hoarding and consumption of fruit here this summer, I have been really more than a little bit less than honest with you all. You see that wee little problem has not now, nor ever been restrictively limited to fruit. In fact one could safely say that I happen to have a vegetable hoarding and consumption problem as well.
My refrigerator is testament to the fact that I simply cannot control my impulses. Combine this craziness with my husband's compulsive condiment purchasing habit and well, you can imagine what a peek inside of my refrigerator will give you. A bloody, freaking nightmare. An "explosion" of sorts has taken place there, and really if you ever need help finding room in your refrigerator for that extra jar of jam or ginormous Costco sized container of pickles, I'm your gal.
If you want to take your life in your hands, come to my house and open the fridge. Something is guaranteed to fall on you, break on your foot or just generally scare the living daylights out of you. Truth, hand to heart truth.
I wish I could tell you that some of that aforementioned and previously purchased produce in the fridge made it's way into this tart. But I can't. No, that would make way too much sense. That produce, is still residing snugly in it's cool cocoon. On a recent trip to the market, I bought some of the most beautiful tomatoes and some equally beautiful corn. Both at their height, their sweet fragrance seducing me in some way to believe they needed to be in my cart, in this tart, in my mouth. Not that I really needed too much convincing..
While I've rarely posted or baked savory dishes here, I'm hoping to change that this year. Hopefully you'll hang in there with me as I do so. I love sweet things as much as the next person, but I'm beginning to feel as if I'm limiting myself somehow. I want to stretch the wings a bit and try a few new things. I feel now more than ever that I'm at a bit of a crossroads here. I'm having a bit of a, dare I say it, mid-life blog crisis.
Along with this feeling, I've been fortunate enough to be asked to write and photograph a monthly food article for my local paper, the Issaquah Press. I'm simply thrilled to be in print on a regular basis and as a result I will be able to focus my efforts a bit on making and shooting savory foods. So, if you all are ok with it, I'd like to give that a periodic go here too.
This tart is simple in ingredients. This simplicity helps to highlight and intensify the flavors of it's parts in a way that is subtle yet imminently pleasing. The addition of a small amount of creamy cheese and caramelized onions only helps to boost the wonderful cohesion of flavors. A thyme flecked savory pastry is really all that is needed to round out and bring it all together beautifully.
Eat warm, or at room temperature with a salad and a slightly chilled glass of rose wine, and you're golden.
Heirloom Tomato, Sweet Corn and Thyme Tart
For the Pastry:
1 1/4 C. All purpose flour
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Black pepper
1/2 C. Unsalted butter, diced
3 Sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
3-4 T. Ice water
For the Filling:
3 T. Olive Oil, divided
1 1/2 lbs. Small Heirloom tomatoes, (Cherry tomato sized)
1 Large onion, sliced
3 Large ears of corn, fresh
1 C. Grated Havarti or Monterey Jack Cheese
Combine the flour, salt, black pepper and thyme leaves in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. With the processor running, add the water 1 T. at time until the mixture forms a ball. Press the mixture into a deep, 10 inch tart tin with a removable bottom. Place in the freezer for 15 min. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the tart from the freezer and prick the bottom of the pastry, gently with a fork. Line with parchment and pie weights or dry beans and bake on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside, removing parchment and weights once cool enough and safe enough to do so.
While the pastry bakes, make the filling.
In a large skillet, sauté the onion slices in 1 T. of the olive oil on medium high. Allow to caramelize. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Slice the kernels of corn from the cob, tip into the pan along with the second T. of olive oil. Sauté 3-5 minutes, until a little soft and slightly caramelized. Remove the corn from the pan and allow to cool while prepping the tomatoes. Finally add the remaining T. of olive oil to the pan and tip in the tomatoes.
Cover the pan with a lid and allow the tomatoes to soften and the skins to pop. Cook covered for about 10 minutes, periodically stirring to allow for even browning. Remove the tomatoes from the pan and allow to cool to lukewarm.
Grate the cheese and sprinkle on the bottom of the pastry. Layer half the onions on top of the cheese, then combine the remaining onions with the corn and tomatoes in a bowl. Fill the tart with this mixture, then return to the 400 degree oven to bake for an additional 20 minutes. Allowing the cheese to melt and the pastry to turn golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes prior to serving.