The tomatoes had started to build up, and I wanted to use them in something that would really showcase their flavor. I was looking through one of my favorite cookbooks, Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, when I came across a recipe for a tomato and goat cheese tart. He called for a tart pan with a removable bottom, which I don't have, so I simply made a crostata!
This is definitely in the top three things I've ever made, possibly the best. It turned out beautifully, with a perfectly flaky and golden-brown crust.
Tomato and Goat Cheese Crostata with Rosemary Crust
- 1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 4-5 tbsp ice water
- 6 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1-1/3 cups)
- 3 medium tomatoes, cored, sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick, and blotted dry between paper towels (this keeps them drier so as not to make the crust soggy)
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add the water, 1 tbs at a time, and pulse briefly after each addition. After 4 tbs of water have been added, process the dough for several seconds to see if it will come together. If not, add the remaining 1 tbs water. Process just until the dough comes together in a rough ball. (Bishop says: "Do not overprocess or the dough will not be flakey"). Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured work surface and knead briefly to for a smooth ball. Flatten the dough into a 5-inch disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
Move an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 375°.
To make the crostata, unwrap the chilled dough and roll it into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. It doesn't have to be a perfect circle, especially if you are using a rectangular baking sheet. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lay the dough flat on top. Prick the bottom of the tart shell all over with a fork.
To fill the crostata, scatter the goat cheese evenly across the bottom, leaving about one or two inches around the edge of the circle. Arrange the tomatoes over the cheese in two rings (again, leaving the space around the outside of the filling): one around the outside edge another in the center, overlapping them slightly. Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Fold the extra inch or so of tart dough over the tomatoes and pinch together any pieces that don't come together well. Add a sprig of rosemary in the center for garnish.