Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pat's Tomato-Bacon Tart

I am on a "food kick". And just in case you need a main dish to go with yesterday's Pinterest cookie recipe -- here is an excellent vegetarian option. AND, if you're like me, at this time of year -- this is your problem...


Pat Leslie is the best cook I know. Julia Child was a friend of hers!! Well, actually, that's not very remarkable -- because EVERYBODY SHE MEETS becomes Pat's friend. Believe me -- she has COOKED it all -- written columns, had her own radio show -- and she teaches very popular cooking classes (she keeps trying to retire, but they won't let her!). The woman LIVES AND LOVES cooking. If you're getting a lot of tomatoes out of your garden -- this recipe is JUST IN TIME.

YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE HOW DELICIOUS this tart is. Totally wonderful --

this could be the dish you will be famous for!!

Pat’s Tomato Tart

1 cup fresh basil leaves
4 garlic cloves
2-1/2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 pound chilled butter, cut into small pieces
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water

In a food processor bowl, chop basil and garlic. Add flour and salt. Mix well. Add butter pieces and pulse just to combine with flour mixture, leaving pea-size pieces of butter. Add water while pulsing until dough clings together. Don’t over-mix. Transfer dough to a lightly floured board. Gently form into a flattened ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for ½ hour.

Pan-spray a 12 x 16-inch baking pan. Unwrap dough and roll to fit the pan. Prick dough with a fork. Bake in a preheated 450°F. oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven before edges are browned and lower heat to 350°F.

4 to 6 cups grated cheese, divided*
1 pound chopped bacon, cooked & well-drained
1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 or 8 green onions, chopped
6 to 8 thinly sliced tomatoes
Garnish: fresh basil leaves

Sprinkle a generous amount of grated cheese over baked crust. Scatter cooked bacon over cheese.

In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cayenne and green onions. Spread over bacon by spoonfuls. Arrange sliced tomatoes, overlapping in rows, on top. Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese. (Allow tomato slices to show.)

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350°F. until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing. Cut into squares or fingers. Makes about 30 appetizers .

*Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, Mozzarella (I used ½ Cheddar and ½ Monterey Jack)
Notes: - Roma tomatoes are best. If using more juicy tomatoes, blot with paper towels
before adding to tart.
- Add chopped basil and garlic powder to mayonnaise mixture if desired.

On the SAME DAY Pat sent me this recipe -- John picked a five gallon bucket of tomatoes. Here it is...the beautiful finished "Tomato Tart". Altho, I must confess -- I started with a refrigerated pie crust. My tomatoes were very ripe, so I sliced them and let them sit between paper towels before assembling the tart, just as Pat recommended...

WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL. This is one of those seasonal things that should only be made when you have fresh tomatoes from your garden. It gives you something to look forward to...


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