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Tomato tart a delicious option for brunch

Tomatoes in a tart -- now that's summer.
(Photos: Kathy Morrison)
Recipe: Goat cheese and mustard are supporting players in this summer star

If your counters are covered with tomatoes, homegrown ones or a local farmer’s, you’re probably on the lookout for new recipes this time of year.

I recently ran across a good one from Martha Rose Shulman of the New York Times, a tomato and goat cheese tart that looked perfect for brunch. Plenty of herbs, and an intriguing mustard layer under the tomatoes -- those were great, but that yeasted pastry she used had to go. I don’t do complicated crusts when it’s meltingly hot outside.

Solution: Refrigerated rolled pie crust (Pillsbury being one option). These premade crusts usually are a little too salty to me for fruit pies, but they work fine for a savory dish.

Tomato slices give up their wateriness
when placed on paper towels.
My other adaptation for this tart came from a technique in a Parade magazine recipe. You slice the tomatoes, then spread them on a baking sheet covered with paper towels, and lightly salt them. After about 30 minutes, the paper towels mostly soak up the watery parts of the tomatoes that can make a tart mushy.

The herb options here are many. I went for fresh thyme, a little more subtle than fresh basil for a brunch entree. (Believe me, I use plenty of basil in other dishes.) I think the tart is best served slightly warmer than room temperature, but you can refrigerate leftovers and enjoy them cold or reheated.

Easier tomato and goat cheese tart
Adapted from the New York Times
Serves 4-6


½ package (1 roll) of a refrigerated pie crust, allowed to sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Minimal supporting cast for the tomatoes.

4 or 5 ripe medium-to-large tomatoes (a mix of colors is nice)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh herbs (chopped parsley, marjoram or basil, or a mix) OR 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh thyme or chopped rosemary

2 eggs

4 ounces plain goat cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling pan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9- or 10-inch tart pan and line it with the unrolled crust. (Trim the dough if necessary.) Put the tart pan in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the tart filling.

Cover a large rimmed baking pan with several layers of paper towels. Slice the tomatoes about ¼-inch thick and place the slices in a single layer on the paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Let stand 30 minutes, turning tomatoes over about halfway through. Pat tomatoes dry, removing any large clumps of seeds (optional).
Dijon mustard on the crust adds a savory layer of flavor.

Remove tart pan from the refrigerator. Brush the mustard over the bottom of the crust. Arrange the tomato slices over the mustard in concentric circles, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the herbs you chose.

In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the tomatoes. Drizzle on the 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Place tart in the oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is nicely browned and filling is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.


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A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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