It happens every summer. Early on, we till and hoe the garden and even pull up the weeds by hand. Seems like forever before any of the garden produce is ready to eat, and then all of a sudden, everything is ripe. Hoeing, tilling and weeding take a back seat to harvesting. Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, berries, corn, beans are all at their peak. I need a crew just to help harvest! But really, I’m not complaining, because there is truly nothing like picking a ripe tomato off the vine and biting into it, juice running down my chin and all. Or snapping the ends of freshly picked green beans and eating a few as I go. If your garden is bearing abundantly, too, you’ll appreciate this recipe.
Fresh tomato tart
Friend Terry Halpin is a busy nurse practitioner and she told me this was a hit at her house. Some folks like to squeeze out part of the juice and seed the tomatoes before slicing so they’re not too juicy in the tart. The flour in the bottom of the crust helps it stay crisp.
1 tablespoon flour
8 oz. Mozzarella, Monterey Jack or combo of both
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise, regular or light (start out with 1/2 cup; if too thick to spread, add a bit more as needed)
3-4 tomatoes, sliced, enough to make a layer
1 nice bunch green onions, sliced thin
Handful of fresh basil, chopped, about 1/4 cup or so, or 2 scant teaspoons dry
Preheat oven to 400. Prick crust and prebake 10 minutes. Dust bottom with flour. Mix cheese, salt and pepper and mayo. Spread thin layer over crust. Lay tomato slices on top. Spread rest of cheese mixture over tomatoes. Sprinkle with green onions and basil. Smooth top, pushing onions and basil into cheese mixture. Bake about 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.