Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ode to the Summer Tomato

Tomatoes are a treasure of riches when it comes to their antioxidant benefits. In terms of conventional antioxidants, tomatoes provide an excellent amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene; a very good amount of the mineral manganese; and a good amount of vitamin E.

A portable, delicious, and healthy snack...what's not to love?  This time of the year there are several varieties available on the market.  Check out your local Farmers Market and explore the greatest the season has to offer.  From grape tomatoes to gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.  They can be simply dressed with a little olive oil,  balsamic and sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Or my favorite, the tomato sandwich! 
Whole wheat bread, a touch of home made mayonnaise, thick cut slices of tomatoes and fresh cracked pepper.

I came across a simple tomato tart recipe that I wanted to try.  As some of you know, I recently moved into a new place and I have not fully unpacked.  I don't feel like I'm making any headway.  Anyway, I was not able to find my tart pan so I improvised.  If you have one, please feel free to use it.  This recipe is based on a Southern Living tomato tart.  I made a few alternations to suit my taste buds.   

Tomato Tart
Serves 4-6


1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts

1 garlic bulb

1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/4 cups shredded sharp white cheddar, divided
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
4 large tomatoes 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Press refrigerated pie crust on bottom and up sides of a square 9-inch tart pan. Bake at 450° for 9 minutes or until pie crust is lightly browned; set aside.

Cut off pointed end of garlic bulb; place garlic on a piece of aluminum foil, and drizzle with olive oil. Fold foil to seal.  Bake garlic at 425° for 30 minutes; cool. 

Squeeze pulp from garlic cloves into a small plate and then mix in the thyme.  Then spread the mixture on the bottom of the baked piecrust.

Sprinkle 1 cup cheese over the garlic.

Slice tomatoes, and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Place on folded paper towels, and let stand 10 minutes. Arrange tomato slices over shredded cheese. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until tart is lightly browned.