Knowledge is knowing that tomatoes are a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. — Miles Kingston

Summer abundance in a dish with seasonal fruits: peaches, blueberries and tomatoes. Pair the meal with a  light, crisp, refreshing white wine, e.g. “The Crossing” from New Zeland.  

Tomato Tarts with Caramelized Onions

Any type of tomatoes work well for this recipe. Comets (yellow cheery tomatoes) make a nice contrast to the red ones. Depending on the pastry size these versatile tarts can stand in as an appetizer, brunch item or a light lunch. Recipe makes 6 tarts (4-1/2 inches). The recipe can easily be halved using only one pastry sheet and half of the filling ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted

1 TB. olive oil and 1 TB. butter

2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions

3 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese or 1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese

1 large tomato, cut into four 1/4-inch-thick slices or slice smaller tomatoes to cover the tart space

Sea salt

1 TB. dried basil

Garnish 3 tablespoons julienne basil leaves

Directions:

Slice tomatoes and drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Unfold one sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 4 inch wide glass or other round object as a guide, martini glass works well, cut three circles from one sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat steps with the second pastry sheet to make six circles in all. Place the pastry circles on a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, saute for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp, nicely browned and almost no moisture remains in the skillet. Remove from the heat.

Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork, and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.

Place 1 tablespoon onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese or shredded white cheddar cheese on top of the onion mixtures. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Sprinkle with basil and grate more Parmesan cheese over the top of each tart.

Bake for 22 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Peach Blueberry Almond Crisp

Ingredients for the filling:

6 cups sliced peaches (about 6-7 peaches)

1 cup blueberries

1/4 cup flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp.  lemon zest

2 tsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. Saigon cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients for the topping:

1 cup old fashioned oats

3/4 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. Saigon cinnamon

1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces

3/4 cup chopped almonds

Optional ice cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, salt, cornstarch, vanilla and lemon zest. Add in chopped peaches and blueberries. Mix well. Use a slotted spoon  to place filling in baking dish.

In another bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Add in butter and mix with your hands until you have a crumbly mixture. A food processor can be used for this step pulsing butter pieces in. Stir in almonds.   

Evenly sprinkle the crisp topping over the peach mixture.

Bake 30 minutes until topping is golden brown  and crisp is bubbling.

Place on a wire rack to cool. Crisp best served the day it is made. 

Twice a month The Seasonal Plate food column will highlight dishes inspired by the changing seasons. My passion for travel, poetry, writing, exploring new cuisines, trying recipes and cooking  have been inspiration for the recipes I have published on my blog http://www.sockfairies.blogspot.com.

Questions/comments at: theseasonalplate@outlook.com

Sue Ready is a writer, poet and former middle school teacher. She is the president of the Northwoods Arts Council in Hackensack. Sue publishes monthly dog stories called The World According to Bella at http://www.wwnrockport.com/

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