Recipe: Easy Tomato Tarts

From 'The Big Summer Cookbook'

The Big Summer Cookbook
The Big Summer Cookbook: 300 fresh, flavorful recipes for those lazy, hazy days
by Jeff Cox
Paperback, 352 pages
Wiley
List price: $24.95

Editor's Note From T. Susan Chang: If you want to make your life easier, you could just go ahead and make this in a food processor. Just be sure to pulse rather than running it continuously, both when you're mixing the dry ingredients and after you've added the wet. It should come together in less than a minute.

Makes 4 servings

These little tarts, with their combined flavors of tomato, basil, and olive oil, are very Italian. They're at their best when the tomatoes are ripest and the basil the freshest.

Perfect for a casual weekend brunch, they also make easy appetizers for a summer night's cocktail party.

Wine suggestion: serve with Prosecco for brunch

2 teaspoons dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 egg, well beaten
2 large ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons thinly sliced (into threads) basil
Fleur de sel
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. In a small cup, add the yeast and the warm water (no hotter than body temperature). Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and kosher salt. Add the butter and, using 2 knives, cut it into the flour until the flour has the consistency of coarse meal. Add the yeast and egg to the flour.

3. Flour your hands and knead the dough until it reaches a smooth consistency. Cut the dough in half, then cut those halves into 2 equal pieces. Roll each of the 4 pieces into a ball. Cover with paper toweling and set in a warm spot for about 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

4. Place a baking sheet or oven stone in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees F. Using a floured rolling pin or the floured heel of your hand, shape each dough ball into a circle about 5 inches in diameter.

5. Top each circle of dough with 1 or 2 slices of tomato and a tablespoon of the basil threads. Sprinkle each with a pinch of fleur de sel and drizzle each with a tablespoon of oil.

6. Place the tarts on the baking sheet or stone and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are brown and puffed, but not black. Serve immediately.

Excerpted from The Big Summer Cookbook: 300 fresh, flavorful recipes for those lazy, hazy days by Jeff Cox. Copyright 2010. Reprinted by permission of Wiley.

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