I can’t believe June passed by without a post from me:( Not like it’s an excuse but I have been planning my wedding (Sept!!), writing my cookbook (manuscript due next March) and running Brooklyn Delhi full steam ahead!
I’m hoping this recipe will make up for my absence. The first time I had a Tarte à la Tomate prepared by my friend Paul’s mother Brigitte, I wanted to eat the whole thing.
Brigitte was born in Alsace, France and keeps French cooking traditions very much alive in her kitchen in Vermont. I was lucky enough to spend some time with her there and of course eat her delicious and beautiful food, which I think about all the time!
I was ecstatic when Brigitte filmed a segment of Paul and Alana’s video series, Cooking by Heart and shared her recipe for her Tarte à la Tomate. From watching her video (must be like 50 times now:), I have now made her tarte a number of times in my home. I definitely recommend watching the video several times before making the recipe.
Every year, my friends Jackie and Ken throw a huge pie potluck and this year was the first year I could attend. I decided that I would make Brigitte’s recipe but with a little twist incorporating my tomato achaar from Brooklyn Delhi. In the recipe, she calls for mustard to be spread on the bottom of the crust so instead I subbed in my achaar (which has black mustard seeds) and the ‘Tarte à la Tomato Achaar’ was born. It was a total hit at the pie potluck!
With tomatoes just appearing at the farmer’s market, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try this summer.
Thanks Brigitte for teaching me the art of the tarte:)
Spicy Tarte á la Tomate
adapted from Brigitte Helzer’s Tarte à la Tomate recipe via Cooking by Heart
Savory Dough Ingredients (this dough can be used for any savory pie or tart):
2 cups flour
¼ tsp salt
1½ stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup ice water (may need a little more if the air is really dry)
3 tbsp Brooklyn Delhi tomato achaar
1 cup grated cheese (emmental, gruyere and parmesan), have also used cheddar
1 tsp fresh chopped parsley or oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
fleur de sel
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Prepare the dough. Combine flour, salt and butter in cuisinart or bowl. Add ice water slowly while pulsing in cuisinart until it gets clumpy. Gather the dough together, being careful not to over handle it (if overworked it won’t be light and flaky). Cover in saran wrap and if you have the time, let it rest in the fridge for 20-30min (or longer if you want to prepare the dough ahead of time, allowing it to return to room temp before working with it).
Butter you tart pan generously. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to be large enough to cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides. Add additional flour as you roll to keep it from sticking. When finished, roll the dough around your rolling pin and unroll it onto your tarte plan (like Brigitte does in the video). Press the dough down so it fits snug into the pan, cutting off excess dough that falls outside the top of the pan.
Prick a few holes in the dough to prevent it from puffing up. Cook it for about 10 min at 450°F or until it begins to brown.
Spread the tomato achaar on the dough. Layer half of the combination of gruyere, emmental and parmesan cheeses. Then layer your sliced tomatoes and top with another layer of cheese. Cook it for about 20 min at 450°F. The crust needs to be “golden to brown” and the cheese should be nice and melted and almost browned and crusty.
Sprinkle the finished tarte with fleur de sel, chopped parsley, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve warm or cold.