I feel like I owe you a disclaimer for my summer recipes. It's an absolute fact and guarantee that about 75% of my summer recipes will include tomatoes. I'm sorry but there is just nothing better than taking a bite of delicious fresh tomato. It's inexplicable. The smell alone of fresh tomatoes makes me weak in the knees and I plan of spending a lot of quality time with them over the next couple of months. My apologies in advance.
To get things started, let me tell you how excited I was when I went to the Farmer's Market and saw the very first crop of tomatoes just sitting there in the sun, daring me to snatch up a couple. This then begged the question of what to do with them. After a little more thought (and a couple stops at the various farm stands) I thought it would be great to throw all of my Farmer's Market veggie finds into a tart (okay, a pizza with the sides rolled up). It was delicious, getting all of those fresh flavors together and then spotted with some locally made garlic and basil goat cheese. The meal was fantastic and I'm super excited because I've got plenty leftover to bring for lunch tomorrow (yay!)
Before I jot down my little recipe and call it a night, I want to pause for a moment to talk about all of the excitement of Farmer's Markets and why I'm all about them. It seems all the magazines and blogs are talking about them so much these days and I think its only fair for me to tell you why I'm so ga-ga over them. To me, cooking with the freshest ingredients is very important. For one, it tastes better. Simply put, the less something has to travel to get to your plate, the fresher its going to be and the better it will taste. Don't believe me? Do a little test. Grab a tomato from a big chain grocery store and one from a Farmer's Market. You'll probably be able to notice some differences already. For one, I'm willing to bet that the Farmer's Market tomato smells more fragrant and even looks a little plumper and more red. Slice yourself off a sample of each and take a taste. See the difference?
I could go on and on about this topic and discuss the nutritional value (the less traveling your produce does, the more nutritious it is) and then their are the economic values (keeping local money local) but what I am most concerned with is taste. So gear up for some fun Farmer's Market finds and a summer full of fresh tomatoes and super fun things to do with them.
Farmer's Market Tart
- About 3/4 package of pre-made whole wheat dough (I used Trader Joe's)
- 3 medium sized tomatoes
- A large handful of fresh arugula (or spinach or really any sort of green)
- 1 zucchini, cut into very thin strips
- A couple dots of goat cheese (I used a fresh basil garlic one)
- 1 small onion, browned and slightly caramelized
- Dried herbs (I chose oregano and fennel seeds)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil for brushing
- Flour for rolling out the dough and cornmeal for dusting the pan
Heat the oven to about 425 and if using a pizza stone, pre-heat it in the oven. You can use any type of pan as well but I prefer a pizza stone because it crisps up the crust. Start by rolling out the dough in some flour and create a circular shape. Add the vegetables to the center of the circle and top with cheese, pepper and herbs, leaving about an inch and half - two inches of space. (Resist the temptation to salt at this point, you'll just end up with some watery pie). Fold over the sides of the dough creating a nice little top of the volcano look.
Dust cornmeal on top on the hot pizza stone and slide the tart on top. Bake until the crust gets firm and the cheese browns a little. Remove from the oven and let sit for a couple of minutes to avoid a watery pizza. Salt just before serving.