Friday, July 13, 2012

Fresh Tomato Summer Tart with Flaxseeds and Thyme

There are certain aromas and flavors that really bring about strong memories, like the smell of sautéed garlic with fresh basil and tomatoes, which is so typical of a Mediterranean summer, I absolutely love it! Tomatoes are at their best right now, they have a full taste and are so sweet it actually makes sense they are considered a fruit. 
The garden in the summer house I am spending my holidays is full of tomatoes right now and their flavor is beyond words … I just thank this land, this earth for this beautiful present and I enjoy them with full appreciation!
I tried to make a healthier alternative to the typical tart, using wholemeal and chickpea flour, flaxseeds and fresh thyme to make the dough. You can actually use any combination of flours or herbs you like.

So here is my recipe:

For the crust
226 grams butter
2 cups wholemeal flour
½ cup chickpea (garbanzo) flour
¾ teaspoon sea salt
6-8 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons flaxseeds
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

For the filling
5 medium sized tomatoes washed and diced
2 garlic cloves minced
¾ tablespoon olive oil
½ cup fresh basil leaves
125 grams fresh mozzarella
150 grams grated mozzarella
100 grams grated parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
½ cup milk or heavy cream

Combine the two types of flour, salt, pepper, flax seeds and thyme in a bowl. Add the butter in chunks and work with your hands until it resembles coarse meal. Add 6 tablespoons of water evenly over your mixture and mix it until incorporated using either your hands or a fork. I always prefer to use my hands cause you get a better sense of the texture of the dough. To test if you’ve got it right, squeeze a small handful of dough in your hand and if it doesn’t hold together, add some more water (1/2 tablespoon at a time). Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.  
 Form a ball with it, wrap it in plastic wrap (or a container) and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. You can also prepare the dough ahead and keep it in portions in the fridge for a couple of days (or in the freezer if you wish to store it  for longer) and use it when needed.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the garlic with half the basil. Add the tomatoes and stir gently. Simmer in medium heat until the juices are absorbed. Season with salt and pepper. 
 Once ready, remove from heat, add the rest of the basil and stir. Allow it to cool a bit. This again can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge.
Remove the chilled tart dough from the fridge. Lightly oil a baking tray. Roll out the pastry and arrange it nicely in the tray. Make several holes with a fork and bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes (190°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 5). Once ready, remove from the oven and allow it 5 minutes to cool. 
Sprinkle some of the parmesan on the cooked tart shell and then gently arrange the filling, reserving 4 tablespoons for the end. Sprinkle the grated mozzarella on top, evenly.  Slice the fresh mozzarella and arrange it on top. Add the rest of the tomato filling on your tart, a teaspoon over each mozzarella slice. Combine the eggs with the milk (or cream) and salt and pepper and pour on top of the tart. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining parmesan and bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes at 190°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 5. Once ready remove from oven and allow it to cool down a bit before you cut it. 
You can enjoy warm or cold!

1 comment:

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