…Or “Welcoming fall with an end of summer bounty…”
I realize I’ve been M.I.A for the past month… I expected my blog posts would slow down as school started for me, but I certainly intended to keep posting at least weekly. This month has just kept me pretty busy… beginning with visits from my sister the first weekend (so much fun!), making up for those days at work the next weekend (less fun!), camping at Silver Falls (beautiful!), running in the Race for the Cure, school and school related workshops, and again making up extra work days…
Not to mention our C.S.A. was cancelled due to pests destroying the crops. I was pretty upset about this as it was supposed to go from June to November and only ended up going until August. We were also not given the items we were told we would biweekly such as local eggs and cheese after the first month. Of course you pay for these ahead of time and cannot get a refund, so this was a big financial loss for us. We had budgeted for our grocery bills to be lower after that initial investment and it’s been tough to stick to the numbers we should be. So we’ve been eating a lot of beans… And I’m all about frugal cooking but it’s not as fun to share when every meal is focused on cheap rather than achieving it’s full potential.
Additionally, I’ve been channeling my creative energy previously being used for cooking into other ventures… namely painting, ink drawing, and jewelry making. I have even replaced a good portion of my blog reading with Etsy ogling… If it weren’t for my time commitments at work and school, I’d gladly make time for both creative cooking and art making, but I just don’t have that much time in my day!
For some reason I have had tarts on my mind the last few days… I was thinking of making some with the fresh figs I bought, but have been eating so many fresh that I may run out. While trying to decide what to make for dinner, I decided to use the plethora of tomatoes available to us…
These cherry tomatoes are from our neighbor. He is growing more than he can eat and we are helping as best we can! Real tomatoes are truly divine… I can eat them like candy. They are sweet and juicy and taste like.. well, a tomato. During the winter, I hate fresh tomatoes- those mealy and bland imposters don’t fool me. I only buy them because Andrew likes them, but otherwise I simply use canned tomatoes for my winter cooking.
Anyhow, I thought it would be yummy to try a savory tart with cherry tomatoes. And I am sooo glad I did… Why do I always forget how delicious savory pastries are? I love that they provide the visual appeal of a dessert, while being filling and nourishing enough for a main course.
This tart is made with a gluten free crust, which I found to be quite rich and delicious, but you can substitute your favorite pie crust if you want. I used ground sunflower seeds as an adaptation of a crust recipe made with almond flour because they are much cheaper and work just as well in most recipes.
Cherry Tomato Tart:
adapted from Marla
*1.5 cups ground almonds, sunflower seeds, or a combination of both
*1/2 teaspoon sea salt
*1/4 cup olive oil
*1 tablespoon water
*fresh or dried herbs if desired such as basil, rosemary, oregano, or thyme (I used rosemary and oregano)
*1 cup cottage cheese (I used fat free)
*1 large clove garlic
*herbs as desired
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
*1-2 cups cherry tomatoes
*2 ounces goat cheese (or try fresh mozzarella, feta, or even cheddar)
*2 tablespoons parmesan
1.)Preheat oven to 350F. Combine ingredients for crust and mix until well combined. Press mixture into a 9 inch tart shell or pie pan. Bake for about 10 minutes and let cool while you prepare the filling.
2.) Combine filling ingredients in food processor or use an immersion blender like I did. You could also use ricotta instead of cottage cheese and mince the garlic and get away without blending it at all. Spread this mixture onto prepared tart shell and top with tomatoes in a pretty pattern. Sprinkle on the cheese and bake for about 25-30 minutes. You may wish to broil for a minute at the end to brown the cheese also.
Add a salad for a well rounded meal!