Friday, September 4, 2009

Fresh Tomato Avocado Tart

When the weather is hot, I prefer a cold dinner.  This fresh tomato avocado tart was the perfect end to a 100˚ day.  The filling has only four ingredients.  The corn, tomato and basil came from my garden, and I lined the bottom of the tart with an organic avocado.  I did sprinkle the top with a little salt, so I guess that makes five ingredients.  Still, it’s so simple, fresh, raw and tasty.  
The crust was adapted from a tart recipe that Heidi from 101 Cookbooks posted back in 2005.  It’s a basic tart shell with the addition of parmesan cheese and pine nuts to complement the filling.  I only used half the parmesan cheese she suggested and added the pine nuts because I love that flavor combination.
I baked the crust in the morning before the heat of the day set in.  The crust needs to cool throughly before you fill it anyway.  Then when dinner time rolls around, you fill it with whatever you have from the garden or the farmer’s market that day.  Very thin slices of zucchini or cucumbers would also work.  It just occurred to me that kalamata olives would be really tasty chopped on top with the basil, I love kalamata olives.

This is how the tart went together.  Simple.  Be creative and use your favor salad ingredients.  I’d love to hear what combinations you used.

Tomato Avocado Tart
4 large servings - Use organic ingredients whenever possible
For the Crust:
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated and loosely packed (optional)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup Earth Balance organic Buttery Spread, cold 
2 Tablespoons cold water
For the Filling:
1 avocado
1 ear of corn
5-6 medium tomatoes
8 basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Put the flours, salt, parmesan cheese and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse about 25 times, or until everything is mixed and you have a sandy texture.
Add the Buttery Spread and pulse until the it’s broken up in to pea sized pieces.
Sprinkle the water over the flour mixture and pulse a few times and the dough should start to come together, but it won’t form a ball.
Pour into a 9” tart pan with a removable bottom.
Firmly press the dough, uniformly, into the pan and up the sides.
Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Take the tart crust out of the fridge and poke the bottom of the tart with a fork a few times.
Cover the tart with a square of parchment paper and fill will pie weights or beans.
Bake for 15 minutes, remove the parchment paper and weights and bake for another 10 minutes.
Let cool at room temperature.
Just before serving, slice the tomatoes and allow them to drain on a dish towel (or paper towels)
Remove the seed from the avocado, peel and slice, and arrange on the bottom of the tart.
Cut the corn from the cob and sprinkle the kernels over the avocado.
Arrange the tomato slices on top of the avocado and corn.
Sprinkle the salt over the tomatoes.
Chiffonade the basil and sprinkle over the tomatoes.
Cut and serve.

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