We love those days when things just fall into place and everything happens like it was meant to. A pile of luscious, plump tomatoes were looking particularly attractive in our refrigerator and the first thing we happened to see on Facebook yesterday was a picture of a Tomato Tart posted by our friend and future guest writer on Eatelish, Maria George. Maria had posted her version of David Lebovitz’s French Tomato Tart on her blog Plattered and it was the easiest decision in the world to try and make our own version.
When one’s mind immediately starts ticking with possibilities and flowing with ideas, that makes for a good day in the kitchen. To make this Tomato & Onion Tart, we made a few choices that were seriously delicious and oh so satisfying. We decided to make a whole wheat pie crust instead of an all purpose flour one. We wanted a pie crust that we could use instantly and wouldn’t have to refrigerate and figured that using butter, while delicious, would be more delicate and time consuming work, so we decided to use oil instead.
As the pie dough was coming together and since all this was an experiment anyway, we threw in some onion seeds, fennel seeds and cumin seeds into the pie dough. And oh my god! We discovered a healthy version of a deep fried snack there. Next time, we’re just going to shape the dough into little disks or diamonds and bake our own namak para.
We also went with an enormous quantity of onions that we cooked with a tiny bit of salt and turmeric before placing on to the pie. And for the cheese on top, instead of David Lebovitz’s Goat Cheese or Maria’s Mozzarella, we used a touch of Bocconcini on each tomato.
This Tomato & Onion Tart made for an incredibly satisfying lunch and left us with so many more ideas for savory tarts and pies. The same tart shell can be filled up with just about any combination of vegetables and meats that you find delicious.
Tomato and Onion Tart
For the crust (8″ Tart):
120 grams Whole Wheat Flour (or 1 cup, less 2 tbs)
40 grams All Purpose Flour (or 4 tbs)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of ice water
For the filling:
2 large Onions, sliced
3 Tomatoes, sliced
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbs Cream
1 tbs Sriracha Sauce
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
6 Curry Leaves
1 tbs Vegetable Oil
Cheese for topping (we used Bocconcini)
Salt to taste
For the crust:
Preheat oven to 200° C.
Mix the flours and salt and seeds, add the oil and mix with a fork until fully moistened. Sprinkle the ice water a tablespoon at a time and mix. Gather the dough together with your hands and press into a ball. If the dough feels too dry, sprinkle a tiny bit of ice water until you feel it’s right.
Roll the crust between two strips of waxed paper. Peel off the top sheet of wax paper and transfer the crust to your tart pan. Slowly peel off the other sheet of wax paper and settle the crust into your pan. If the crust tears in places, don’t panic. This is a very forgiving pie crust and you can just press it back into the torn spaces.
Crimp the edges of the crust and using a sharp knife, trim of the excess. For this particular recipe, the shell needs to be pre-baked so prick the crust with a fork and bake the shell for about 12-15 minutes.
For the Tart:
Preheat oven to 180° C.
Cook the sliced onions in the vegetable oil till translucent, adding a good pinch of salt and the turmeric powder while they cook. Meanwhile, mix together the cream and Sriracha sauce. Remove the onions from the oil, squeezing as you do so there is enough oil left behind in the pan.
Spread the cream and sauce mixture on the tart shell, place the onions in a nice thick layer on top of the sauce and neatly lay the sliced tomatoes over the onions. Place your cheese on top of the tomatoes.
Heat the remaining oil in the pan and temper the mustard seeds and add the curry leaves. Pour this over the tomatoes and bake the tart for 30 minutes.