Heirloom Tomato & Honey Goat Cheese Galette
My mom always had a huge garden when I was little. It was full of huge squash, cucumbers, peas, beans, corn (sometimes), and always more tomatoes than anyone could ever eat. She was notorious for having a thousand different kinds of tomatoes - heirlooms, cherry, grape - any variety you can think of. That hasn't changed over the years. She starts her tomatoes in the winter in her basement, and grows them from seeds. By the time summer rolls around, the plants are already massive, so it's no surprise that she reaps great reward from her hard work.
Despite having the garden, when I was little, I hated tomatoes. My BLTS consisted of the BL and cheese. I liked tomato sauce on pizza and pasta, but not tomato soup. I was very anti-tomato. Certainly some of that was due to childhood stubbornness, but also a texture aversion. I was very particular in textures when I'm eating - I still am, but in a different way. I eat just about everything if it's cooked properly.
In fact, until a few years ago, I never ate tomatoes. I started dating Brian and after we'd get off work at 3am (restaurant life...), he'd make me a BLT with a runny egg on top. I was always too afraid to tell him I didn't like tomato, so I would eat it. And learned to like it. Now we eat tomatoes so often that I actually got an ulcer from the acidity this past summer. That's a lot of tomatoes.
We grow our own tomatoes and get seedlings from my mom's plethora of plants, but summers like this past one where our plants didn't produce as well as usual, we rely on the local farmer's market to get the best heirlooms. When I say it takes 20 minutes to pick out tomatoes, I'm not joking. We love the variety of colors - purples, oranges, yellows, and reds, the variety of flavors, and all the different sizes and shapes. Our farmer's market has about 8 different vendors with huge heirloom tomatoes, so we check them all out, then go back for our favorites. Brian is methodical in his tomato selections.
As it nears the end of tomato season in Maryland, I wanted to use up the tomatoes that we had before they went went bad. The best way to use up a bunch of tomatoes is either before they've ripened, like in a Green Tomato Pie, or in this recipe, a Tomato Galette. A galette is a French, savory tart. Traditionally, it was a buckwheat pancake with a savory filling. More common today, a galette refers to a rustic, free-form single-crust pastry with a savory filling.
I am in love with the "rustic-inspired" food trend, because that is a nicer way of saying "imperfect" food. Aesthetically, it can be a little rougher and not so polished. But it also means that it has traditional, familiar flavors, with a twist. This galette is warm, cheesy, and combines savory with a hint of sweet to create the perfect side to a nice traditional dish. We paired this with wine-braised chicken. And it was delicious! Not to mention absolutely gorgeous after it came out of the oven!
Prep time: 20 min. Bake time: 40 min. Serves 3-4.
1 - 9" Ready-to-Bake Pie crust
3-4 heirloom tomatoes
6oz goat cheese
2 Tbsp honey
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp EVOO
1. Coat a small sauce pan with EVOO and caramelize the diced yellow onion. Set aside to cool.
2. Cover large baking sheet in parchment paper and roll out the pie crust onto the baking sheet. Lightly stretch the pie crust, without tearing.
3. Using a fork, gently crumble the goat cheese over the pie crust. Leave a 2" border along the edges. This is so you have crust to fold over before baking. Then drizzle with honey, and top with caramelized onions.
4. Season the sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper. In a circular pattern, layer the tomatoes over the goat cheese and onions. Drizzle any remaining (or extra!) honey.
5. Fold up the pie crust over the edge of the tomatoes, pinching the dough so it stays in place while baking. Liberally brush the beaten egg on the crust. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until the crust is golden and the tomatoes are slightly charred. Cool for a few minutes before serving.
It really is so easy to put this dish together, I'm not sure why I don't make it all the time! These flavors are the BOMB after they've baked and melded together. The sweetness of the honey and tart goat cheese are the perfect compliment to the acidity of tomatoes. Throw in a buttery pie crust and it's heaven.