The Geometry of Paradise
Local tomatoes are now in season! In the eastern part of the Austria, tomatoes are called Paradeiser. The two cherry tomato plants on my balcony are leisurely producing a steady harvest. Nothing beats eating the sun-warmed Cherry Romas fresh off the plant. Last week I set aside the first Bombolino d’Invernos to ripen as per the instructions. Today I looked for them to make bruschetta, and I came to the harsh realization that a tomato thief is at large. It’s a good thing I had a few regular-sized ones lying around. Otherwise, I may not have been able to whip the bread, olive oil, basil, and tomato above into this:
The Bruschetta Triangle
Dice fresh tomatoes and place in a small bowl. Mince basil and add to the fruit. Add as much olive oil, salt, and pepper as you like.
Let the mixture sit and marinade while you toast slices of bread in the oven at 200°C/400°F for about 5 minutes.
Spread the mixture on top of the toast slices, return to the oven, and leave in for 2-3 minutes for the topping to warm up. I couldn’t resist adding a bit of sheep’s cheese.
This basil grown from seed has proven to be one of the toughest plants on the balcony, weathering two hailstorms and a plague of very hungry green caterpillars that decimated three out of six young lettuce plants. It is featured along with tomatoes in the following savory tart inspired by a recipe by Heike Kügler-Anger in Vegetarisch kochen – französisch.
The name of this tart pays homage to the culinary influence of France (goat cheese and mustard), a country commonly referred to as l’Hexagone due to its shape.
Fresh basil and rosemary
Mustard (If it’s flavored, be careful that the taste matches the rest of the ingredients and/or that it isn’t too hot. I made half with homemade plain mustard and half with chipotle mustard that stole the show from the rest of the cast.)
Goat cheese (fresh, not aged)
Rectangular puff pastry? (I use Blätterteig which you can get at any supermarket here and am not sure what the best option is outside of Austria. You could also make a regular pie or tart crust. This recipe can be prepared really quickly and is what I normally use for all my veggie tarts.)
The rectangular pastry dough is placed so that its center is inside the bottom of a tart pan. A layer of mustard is spread on top the pastry within the tart pan. Sliced tomatoes are arranged to form the next layer. Torn basil and rosemary leaves are scattered across the tomatoes. Chunks of goat cheese crown the tart and olive oil is drizzled over it. Finally, the pastry outside the tart pan is folded over the tart so that there are six sides. The tart is baked in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 200°C/400°F until appetizingly brown.