Roasted Tomato Tarts & Last Chance Gazpacho

Savoring the Tomato Harvest

Whether you’re loving the abundance of tomatoes at your farmers market, or you’ve been watering and weeding and fighting the critters all summer and have a nice, juicy crop of your own, we figure this is a perfect time to celebrate tomatoes.

Right now is when tomatoes taste like they’re supposed to taste, full of sweet, deep flavor and bursting with juice and seeds after a summer of fattening up on the vine. A far cry from their pale, tasteless tomato step-cousins (twice removed) available year-round at the grocery store.

A fresh, homegrown, heirloom tomato is everything. We especially like to eat the little cherry and grape tomatoes right off the vine or slice a fat beefsteak tomato and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Bliss. 

Today we’re making the most of our tomato abundance with little roasted tomato tarts, and we’ve thrown in our favorite recipe for gazpacho for a last fresh taste of summer during these glorious warm fall days.

The tomato tarts are so simple to put together, just bake up a few rounds of pie dough (or English muffins), spread with a little goat cheese (or ricotta or burrata) and top with roasted tomatoes. The base and the cheese can be varied because the real star of this dish is the roasted tomatoes.  Roasting brings out even more of a tomato’s sweetness while adding a rich and savory counterpart. We like to have a little char on the tomatoes when roasting for extra depth of flavor.

This gazpacho recipe is a keeper too, a cool, creamy blend of tomatoes and veggies topped with the crunchy goodness of jicama, celery, cucumber, apple and peppers. Blend, chop and you can taste summer any time of year. Call us crazy, but right now, when the sky is deep autumn blue, is when we crave that cool, fresh flavor the most. Enjoy!

Roasted Tomato Tarts

Recipe by Chef Deb Traylor

  • 1/2 recipe of our pie crust,  see the crust recipe for Spring Chicken Pot Pie, or use your favorite crust recipe, or use 6-8 English muffins if you’re in a hurry
  • 2 cups grape-sized tomatoes
  • 4-5 Tbsp. fruity olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 6 oz. creamy goat cheese, any flavor, or sub. ricotta or burratta cheese
  • thyme sprigs and/or fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the piecrust and cut into rounds using 3 to 4-inch inch biscuit cutters (or cut dough in 3-inch squares). Gently “dock” the pastry with a fork or with the tip of a sharp knife. Chill dough for 20 minutes in the fridge. Bake until golden brown, 20-30 minutes. If using English muffins, wait until just before serving and simply toast until golden brown. 

Increase oven to 375 degrees. To roast the tomatoes, toss with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and place on a foil or parchment lined sheet pan. Roast for 20-35 minutes until bursting and just a little charred.

Spread each baked tart round or muffin with 2 tablespoons of goat cheese (or ricotta or burratta) and top with roasted tomatoes, thyme or basil and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Last Chance Gazpacho

Recipe by Chef Deb Traylor (borrowed heavily from Dacia Horn)

For Gazpacho:

  • 2 English cucumbers, halved and seeded, but not peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 of a medium jicama
  • 1//2 red apple, chopped
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 32 ounces tomato juice (4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Roughly chop all veggies and apple and place in a really good blender (use a Vitamix, if you have one), or a food processor works just as well. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Chill soup for at least 2 hours.

For Garnish:

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 half red apple
  • 1/2 small jicama
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and veins removed
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime  
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Dice with a knife or use a chopper to dice cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, celery, jicama and apple. Toss veg/fruit mixture with vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings adding additional lime and salt if needed.

To serve, ladle 1 cup of chilled soup into chilled bowls, then place 1/3-1/2 cup of the diced veg/fruit relish into the center of each bowl.  Drizzle with a teaspoon of a rich fruity olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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