Wednesday, August 22, 2007

book club = good times!

It's book club tonight! Queer book club (not "classic" or "hardcore"...what? I like bookclubs!), and the queers enjoy throwing down some delicious treats along with their literary discussion. I'm making Heidi's Heirloom Tomato Tart in a Parmesan Crust. I made the crust last night. I don't have a tart pan, so I used a regular 9x9 glass pan, but I think I made the sides too high (see Heidi's picture), but it smelled like heaven out of the oven, so hopefully it'll be a-okay.

I am rapturously in love with summer tomatoes (and hate their waxy, mealy supermarket poser wannabe cousins with an rabid venom in equal measure as my love for the sunkissed real tomatoes), and am constantly looking for things to do with them. I often get stuck on tomato-cheese sandwiches, tomato-on-toast and just thick slices on a plate with salt and pepper because they're so fantastic just on their own. That's what intrigued me about this recipe--the tomatoes stay in tact and lovely and just-sliced, but they get a fancier outfit to ride around in and make their way to your mouth. And, I'm actually considering trying out a twist that was posted to the comments on Heidi's site by "Chef Mark". I just checked out his blog, and it's not really my style, but I liked the suggestion:

Lovely article, and a great recipe. May I add a suggestion which I use for Tomato Basil Tarts? You say that you leave the tomatoes uncooked but salt them to draw out water. You can achieve the same result with just a tad more work, but get some added flavor by GENTLY sauteeing the tomato slices in a light soffrito (garlic, butter and oil, and parsley, or for a subtle flavor, marjoram.

After a few minutes, use a spatula to transfer the tomatoes to a colandar set over a bowl to drain. You can save the juices for another purpose. I LOVE this garlic and herb infused juice to add to soups, any tomato sauce, a vinaigrette, etc.

I'm going to try to remember my camera tonight so I can photograph the tart and any other delectable delights that show up. I know that E-dawg made a fresh salsa that I can't wait to taste.

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Nat said...

Dude--good thing I read this post before I made up a huge batch of salsa for book club tonight!!! We would have all been on tomato overload, if there is such a thing...

A said...

another quick-and-dirty tomato trick: caprese. One slice tomato, one leaf basil, one slice mozzarella.

Also, if you have access to a bumper of tomatoes, I really recommend that you do some canning. You will be so happy in the dead of winter when you crack open those puppies.