Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Reprise - A Tomato Luncheon

This was originally posted on September 22, 2008 -- almost a year ago.    Tomatoes and  a tomato luncheon still are a favorite at Linderhof.     To see other Sunday favorites, visit Chari at Happy to Design.

The best and sweetest tomatoes are the tomatoes in September. Although we don't grow tomatoes in the garden we buy them twice weekly at the Farmer's Market. From big red tomatoes, to big yellow tomatoes, to a variety of colors of cherry tomatoes, we feast on tomatoes all summer long.

What better way to celebrate our favorite vegetable than with a luncheon made up entirely of tomatoes.

What better centerpiece for a tomato luncheon that an antique bowl filled with both tomatoes and garden basil.
From soup. A roasted tomato soup from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, garnished with a sprig of garden basil and served in the shallow bowls in the shape of a cabbage leaf.
To a wonderful tomato and blue cheese tart. The recipe found on a favorite website, posted by bakergirl, was a success. Baked in my newest pan -- the square tart pan. It made a beautiful presentation and I liked the roundness of the tomatoes with the squareness of the tart.
To go with, a salad of Farmer's market arugula with a lemon olive oil and vinegar dresing, topped with a heirloom cherry tomato.
Yes, we even served tomato for dessert -- a tomato soup cake frosted with cream cheese frosting to which I added lemon extract, lemon zest and minced basil.

It was a great lunch for a rainy almost fall day. We were reminded that soon, summer and it's tomatoes would be gone.

Savory Tomato and blue cheese tart

makes 6 first course servings

1 cup flour
4 ounces cream cheese, chilled, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled, diced into 1/2' pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 ounces creamy blue cheese such as Bleu d'Auvergne, finely crumbled*
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise *note
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
2 green onions, chopped (including 2 " of green stems)

1. For the crust, place four, cream cheese, butter, salt and cayenne pepper in a food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Remove and knead mixture into a smooth mass, then press it with our fingers in an even layer over the bottom, -- not the sides-- of a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Smooth dough with the back of a spoon (The crust will be pretty thick) Freeze crust 15 minutes to firm.
2. Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake crust until golden brown, about 30 minutes. remove crust from oven and cool 5 minutes.
3. Sprinkle cheese evenly over crust. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer over the cheese, cut sides up. Whisk together oil and vinegar in a medium bowl and drizzle over the tomatoes, then sprinkle with salt. Return to oven and bake until cheese has melted and tomatoes are hot, 10 to 12 minutes.
4. Cool tart 5 to 10 minutes and then remove sides of tart pan. (Tart can be made 3 hours ahead. Leave tart at cool room temperature and reheat in preheated 350 degree oven until warmed through, 8 to 10 minutes.
5. To serve, place tart on a platter. Mix together parsley and green onions. Sprinkle over tart. Cut tart into thin wedges and serve with paper cocktail napkins or cut into 6 slices and serve on plates with forks for a first course. Either way, this tart. with its flaky crust and delectable topping of sweet tomatoes and salty cheese, is a wonderful opener.

*I used both yellow and red cherry tomatoes and alternated them. I had forgotten the onions and so used garden chives instead.


Pondside said...

It's a terrible thing to droop over the keyboard past 10 at night! That tart looks wonderful -It may make an appearance at our table because a friend has just given me a whole sac of tomatoes, adn I know there's a good chunk of Danish Blue in the fridge.

Taste the Rainbow said...

I will miss the Summer bouty of fresh tomatoes too Martha.

All of those dishes looks scrumptious!

Southerncook said...


Thanks for sharing the recipe. It sounds fabulous and I have made a copy my friend. BTW, I just ordered one of those square tart pans a couple of weeks ago. As soon as it arrives I will be preparing this tart and I love the presentation.


Mary Bergfeld said...

This looks so very good, Martha. I'm sure my invitation was lost in the mail :-).

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I love your tomato centerpiece :)

Such wonderful-sounding recipes! Your tomato tart looks delicious.

podso said...

Clever! I'll be back for your tomato tart recipe, I sort of collect them.

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Martha...

So happy to have you join in with us today for Sunday Favorites, my friend!

I have to tell you that this is probably the first table centerpiece that I've ever seen where tomatoes were used...but I love it! How really is pretty and colorful with all the gorgeous reds from the tomatoes and the pretty greens from the basil! Kuddos, my friend!

There is nothing like homegrown or garden fresh tomatoes! Ohhh, and I love homemade tomato soup! Your tart sounds delicious...again, I love tomatoes and I love blue cheese! Thank you so much for including the recipe! for your scrumptious looking cake...I've never heard of tomato soup cake! I'm going to look on the internet for a recipe! Sure sounds interesting!

Thank you again...this was a great post to share with us!!!

Have a super Sunday, my friend!

Anonymous said...

I love when you post food! I always get inspired to get into the kitchen and do something. Recently I have made tomato tarts that were great, then I made one again for company and it was a mess! Boohoo! I think I will try your crust next time -- it looks a bit sturdier than mine. And your centerpiece is killer!


Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

Everything looks good. But I'm not that big of a fan of tomatoes to want everything at dinner made from them. But then again, I've never given it a try.

Anonymous said...

That tomato & blue cheese tart looks fantastic. I am suddenly hungry. Gotta get that recipe.

Amy said...

Who knew you can do so much with tomatoes. Thank you.

Penny said...

I love the looks of the tart from the square pan! I must find one. The tomato centerpiece is beautiful. How creative!

Martha said...

Penny-- I got my pan at WS -- I like the rectangular one, too!

Phyllis said...

Love your blog, you do such a great job. I love the pictures and love all the wonderful recipes, congrats on all the work. Phyllis@around the house...