Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Tart from Warsaw

And no I'm not talking about Lotte who worked in circulation at the newspaper!* I'm talking about a recipe that I found in the Times of London back in 1998 and that became a staple during our summers in Warsaw. It was simple to make, could be prepared ahead of time and they had the most amazing varieties of gold and red plum tomatoes. And it did keep well, though there were seldom any left overs.

I hadn't made it since our last summer there in 2000 - I'm not sure why it has languished on the shelf for so long. Maybe I just couldn't find the right tomatoes back in Canada. Here in Rome that isn't a problem. As I've mentioned before the question when buying tomatoes is what are you using them for? Salad? Stuffing? Sauce? Roasting?

150g plain flour, sifted
75g fine polenta
110g butter diced
1 medium egg
extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
60g freshly grated Parmesan (or the equivalent in a Gruyere/goat cheese mixture)
800g vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced, patted dry (I use plum tomatoes)
100g rocket lettuce or basil

Briefly process the flour, the polenta and the butter in a food processor to combine, then add the egg and about 2 tsp olive oil to bind. Wrap in clingfilm and chill briefly.

Roll out to fit a shallow 28cm tart tin, prick the base then chill well again.

Spread the mustard evenly over the base then top with the cheese. Lay the tomatoes on top in concentric, tight, overlapping circle. Season well with salt and pepper.
Tomatoes circled and all ready for the oven.

Bake for 45 minutes at 200c/400F. Then switch off the oven.

Out of the oven and ready for a swirl of rocket or basil pureed in olive oil.

Place 75g of the rocket in a processor or blender with 5-6 tbsp olive oil and process until you have a thick but pourable puree. Drizzle the puree over the tomatoes and return to the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove, cool for 15-20 minutes before serving; but it may also be kept in the fridge overnight but should be brought to room temperature before serving.

Just before serving season the remaining rocket with salt, pepper and a little oil. Pile into the middle of the tart.

As well as making it in a pie dish I recall using a cookie sheet and doubling the amounts when serving it to a large group. Just wish I could find those golden tomatoes we had in Warsaw. Then I could really recreate my Warsaw Tart.

*Yes, I know that is a very un-PC comment but occasionally I forget I'm a Canadian.

20 agosto - San Bernardo di Chiaravalle


Sling said...

My tastes have changed in the last decade or so,and I've become more of a fan of tomatoes than I was in my younger days.
That dish looks absolutely scrumptuous!


i love tomatoes in any way fashion shape or form..this looks absolutely wonderful

sageweb said...

Oh my gosh, you just made this lesbian drool. I am going to make this it looks fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try this recipe. I've been dreaming of the taste since tasting the one you made in Warsaw.


evilganome said...

A tart worthy of a couple of old tarts. I think I know what is going to feature as at least one meal this weekend! Thanks, Wills.

yvette said...

I love this recipe ! I am just wondering about finding around here fine polenta to mix with flour?
The polenta I sometimes use is not very fine. May be I will have to see in Italian shops in Aix or Marseilles.
This looks so good! I tend to come and read it over and over again...