Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Last Night's Dinner: Cherry Tomato Tart

Very occasionally, circumstances help to produce an unexpectedly delicious recipe, and that was the case last night. As I previously reported, the Sungold tomatoes at Quail Hill are abundant and extraordinarily sweet. Since I still have almost 10 pounds of excellent frozen pie dough, made with some of my Fairview Farm lard, I decided to make a cherry tomato tart for dinner. Looking around for ideas, I saw this David Liebovitz recipe, for a tomato tart drizzled with honey. I had some truffle honey in the pantry, which I pulled out. I knew that would be great! But the tart needed a savory element to balance the sweetness of the tomatoes, and would harmonize with the truffle-infused honey. I took a walk down to Cavaniola's and asked Michael for cheese suggestions. He gave me some aged Pecorino Romano, traditionally a match for truffle honey (which you can also buy there--it is expensive, but no more expensive than a typical entree at Beacon, Oasis, or The American Hotel, and you will enjoy it for months to come), and I was all set. Here is the recipe:

Cherry Tomato Tart with Truffle Honey
Serves 4

A variation if you're not ready to try truffle honey: Spread 2 tablespoons of grainy Dijon mustard over the bottom of the pie shell before sprinkling on the cheese and adding the tomatoes, and skip the honey.

Flaky pie dough for a single-crust pie (I used this recipe, replacing the shortening with lard, but you could use any pie dough recipe that you like)
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt
Ground black pepper
3 ounces grated aged Pecorino Romano
1 1/2 tablespoons truffle honey

1. Arrange an oven rack on the bottom third of the oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11-inch circle. Roll the dough around the rolling pin, and lift it over a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Line the pan with the dough, pressing it into the corners. Trim the dough so that it is flush with the edges by rolling the pin over the rim of the pan. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
2. Toss the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and ground black pepper. Let stand while the dough chills.
3. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the bottom of the chilled crust. Arrange the cherry tomatoes, cut sides up, over the cheese (if they have given off some liquid, leave that behind in the bowl). Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle a little more salt over the tart.
4. Bake until the crust is golden and the tomatoes are soft and browning, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes and serve warm.

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