I have been loving my heirloom tomatoes from Bountiful Baskets- and so has everyone else in my family. We have all enjoyed discovering the different flavors that come with each different color and pointing out the best ways to use all the colors to create “the perfect bite”. The best quote of the night came from my 13 year old while enjoying the little dish I’m about to share with you. She said “You know what’s great about these tomatoes? They taste like tomatoes. A lot of the time tomatoes don’t really taste like anything. But these are full of tomatoey goodness”. Yes my dear, yes they are. And since these little gems have the guts to actually have a flavor, I thought they deserved a dish that showcased it.
Some friends helped me find a recipe that met all of my qualifications. It was (1) gluten-free (2) different than anything I have made before, and (3) made the last of my BB tomatoes the stars of the show. Of course, since I cannot seem to leave a recipe alone I used the one I found as a jumping off point and created something different but fabulous! The key to my success? Bacon!
Bacon?!? Yes, anyone who knows me knows that bacon is usually not on my list of approved ingredients but at every meal since we got those tomatoes hubby has said “This is great but you know what it needs?” Yep, give you one guess…bacon. So, in honor of my ever-loving husband I present the Corn and Tomato Tart (bacon optional).
- 4 Cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 pound of Bacon cooked crispy and broken into small pieces
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Cup Polenta (corn meal)
- 2 Tbsp butter (or bacon fat or other oil of your choice)
- 3 medium sized cobs corn (or the equivalent amount of frozen corn)
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated fine
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese) drained VERY well
- 2 Large eggs
- 1 1/2 lb. Heirloom tomatoes (about 2 large tomatoes), sliced (about 1/4" thick)
- Sea salt to taste
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Rosemary, oregano, marjoram, crushed red peppers, and extra parmesan to sprinkle on top.
- Preheat Oven to 400
- Prepare the bacon
- Cut the corn kernels off the cobs.
- Melt the butter (or your choice of fat) and toss in the corn. Cook with the chili powder, garlic, rosemary, and oregano until the corn is slightly caramelized and smelling yummy.
- Mix the bacon into the corn and set aside.
- Mix the drained Ricotta (or cottage cheese) with the two well beaten eggs, salt, and pepper, and set aside
- Bring the broth to a boil.
- In a steady stream slowly pour in the cornmeal continuously whisking.
- Bring back up to a boil then reduce to a low simmer stirring OFTEN for 30-40 minutes.
- When the polenta is done stir in the parmesan cheese and the corn/bacon mixture.
- Pour the polenta into a greased 9" glass pie pan.
- Gently push into the center and raise the polenta up the sides of the pie dish. (the polenta should cover the whole dish but have a deep enough well to hold the ricotta and have some "crust" around the edge)
- Pour the ricotta mixture into the well, spreading to about 1 inch from the edge so that a polenta crust is left.
- Top the tart with slices of tomato- use all the different colors to make it pretty and give variety of flavor
- Sprinkle with sea salt, parmesan cheese, herbs, and crushed red peppers
- Bake for about 60 minutes
- Allow it to cool and set for 15-20 minutes.
The polenta bakes up firm and makes a fabulous crust but do NOT skimp on the wait time (no matter how yummy it smells) or you will get runny tart.