Summer Vegetable Tart

If you’re lucky enough to spend a little summertime in Europe, and particularly in France, you might see quite a stunning visual array of savory tarts, quiche, pizza, pissaladiére, Flammkuchen, Zwiebelkuchen, and many other pastries in bakeries, cafes, and restaurants. The pastry or crust fillings may include a little bacon or anchovy here and there, but often as not vegetables and/or cheese are the superstars. Baked before the day gets hot or in a blissful outdoor oven, these tasty light meals are the perfect hot weather treats served warm or at room temperature on their own or with a crisp green salad on the side. A little white wine? But of course.

Here in the states, we’re typically more into pizza across the board (a few quiches, too, I’ll admit) but lately I’ve been spying — and maybe you have, too –quite a few Tomato Pies showing up here, there, and everywhere while the ruby red tomatoes are coming in hot and heavy. (I will have to make one as they feature tomatoes and mayo–one of my warm weather favorite combos.) My tomatoes here in Colorado are still just barely ripening — and they’re all of the cherry or grape variety given our short growing season. But a slew of sweet Camparis on my counter found me searching for a French-style tomato tart I remembered seeing somewhere. But where? A little google mining brought me to Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa website and a reminder about Anna’s Tomato Tart, which is in Ina’s COOKING FOR JEFFREY book — right on my own shelf! Now I didn’t particularly want a tomato-ONLY tart, but rather had in mind something with a sort Provençal feel that included olives, fennel, mushrooms, peppers, and more. Anna’s tart would definitely serve as my springboard. Scroll down to read up on the late cook-caterer-writer, Anna Pump and her great store on Long Island– Loaves and Fishes. Links to other savory tart recipes included there, too.

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Grilled Mini-Naan Pizzas with Caramelized Onions and Gruyere Cheese

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If you google caramelized onions and gruyere, you come up with boo coo hits.  It’s a great pairing and if you lust after or think at all about French Onion Soup, you know this fact intimately.  Even on my Facebook feed in the last week, a stunning puff pastry tart with those same gorgeous ingredients kept surfacing.  I don’t know Jo-Anna Rooney, but she evidently blogs for Kendall-Jackson wines and came up with said oh-so-French tart. (Check out Jo-Anna’s tasty food when you get a chance.)
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And while I have no truck with puff pastry, I’ve been looking for a new starter made on the grill for my next cooking class…Make it All on the Grill!  Dave–husband and faithful sous–thought a flat bread pizza might be fun or maybe he just wanted pizza. The more I thought about it, the more I knew most of my students would make the dough in the class, but perhaps never again open a jar of yeast. (I’m sure this doesn’t include you!)  I loved the idea of taking Jo-Anna’s idea for a quick version of this quintessential French tart and adapting it to a grilled flatbread pizza of some sort. Continue reading