Susan Hart: Gluten-free tart a perfect use for green tomatoes
For the Nevada Appeal
You may have some green tomatoes staring at you from this year’s defunct garden. If so, this amazing upside-down tart (the dough is cooked on top of the filling, then the tart is flipped for serving) will tickle your taste buds and have you wishing for more.
It’s sort of like a pizza, sort of like a calzone, but you’ll need to taste it to describe it. The caramelized tomatoes have a depth of flavor not found in other dishes. This recipe is modified from NPR’s Kitchen Window recipe and is both beautiful and delicious. It’s great served with a winter squash soup and a green salad.
Green tomato tart tatin
Crust (needs refrigeration prior to use):
¾ cup brown rice flour
½ cup potato starch
¼ cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon Xanthan gum
6 tablespoons frozen butter
1 large egg
1/3 cup ice water, more or less
4 or 5 green tomatoes (firm but not rock-hard)
3 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 shallot, minced
2 teaspoons fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine all the flours, salt, baking powder and Xanthan gum. Grate in the butter and mix with a fork until crumb-like. Break in the egg and stir well. Knead with your hands, adding just enough ice water to pull the dough together into a workable ball, about one minute. (I used a food processor, being careful to add the ice water slowly and not to over-mix.) Wrap in lightly floured (gluten-free flour, of course) foil or plastic and store in the refrigerator until ready to use, but at least half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a 9-inch skillet with a metal handle, melt butter over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir until completely melted into the butter. Add shallot and thyme, if using the dry variety. Cook until butter starts to brown and the sugar seems almost caramelized, about five minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and white wine and whisk the mixture into a smooth broth. Scrape the bottom of the skillet occasionally to incorporate the good bits. Cook five or 10 minutes on a slow boil until the sauce is reduced and syrupy.
While the mixture is cooking down, cut the tops off the tomatoes. Give them a gentle squeeze if they seem too juicy or seedy. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise in half and cut each half into wedges, angling your knife around the arc of the tomato. Put the slices in the skillet in a fanned-out pattern. If you are using fresh thyme, sprinkle it over the tomatoes.
Turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook about 10 minutes. The tomatoes should be soft but not falling apart. The length of the cooking time will depend on the ripeness and the variety of tomatoes. Remove the lid and cook five to 10 minutes more, until the sauce is thick and syrupy and the pan is fairly dry. Season with salt and pepper.
Roll the pastry to be about 1/3-inch thick and just bigger than your pan. Carefully place the dough over the warm tomato mixture, tucking in the sides all around and folding the edges so they are a bit thicker than the rest of the dough. Prick the dough in a few places.
Bake about 25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the juices are bubbling out from under the sides.
Cool for a few minutes, then carefully flip the tart onto a serving plate, crust side down. Don’t leave any of the good bits of tomato or sauce; just add them to the top of the tart.
Serves 4 to 6
The next meeting of Carson City’s gluten-free discussion group will be Monday, Jan. 13. Please email me for more information.
Susan Hart has been cooking gluten-free for 17 years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.