Tomatoes. We adore them, but at this time of year, it seems like there are more of these beautiful love apples than we can possibly handle. Plus, we’ve all been eating them since mid-August so maybe, just maybe, you’re getting a little tired of your daily dose of tomatoes, delicious as they are, on salads or in sandwiches.
We have over a dozen tomato plants in our home garden, and our kitchen window is overflowing with ripening ones, brought in quickly before local squirrels can take their ritual one bite out of as many as they can. So, last week, we deployed some of our growing tomato inventory to make a tomato galette using a recipe from Bon Appetit. It will blow your mind.
What’s a galette, you understandably ask? A galette is a flat, round pastry or bread cake, filled with something sweet or savory. A galette is kind of a tart. Like a tart, a galette will frequently be filled with fruit. So why not tomatoes?
The Tomato Galette looks beautiful: all the reds, yellows and greens of our heirloom tomatoes are showcased to advantage when layered into an open-faced pastry. The flavors are beautifully balanced, with the richness of the cheese and buttery pastry complementing the acidic tartness of the tomatoes. If you need to add something extra, you could mix in some chopped bacon or sausage.
The Tomato Galette looks elegant, and you might be tempted (as we were) to enjoy it with a glass of wine. If you do, we’d suggest a Vermentino, our current warm weather alternative to the uber-popular Cabernet Sauvignon. Vermentino is a light white wine with good acidity, a touch of sweetness and a little brininess, because every tomato benefits from a touch of salt. There are lots of Vermentinos coming out of Italy, and if you want to order a few bottles, you might contact Oak Park’s Anfora Wine Merchants. We’ve been enjoying a 2018 Vermentino Reserve put out by the Barboursville Winery in Virginia; after one bottle, we bought a case, and it has been our go-to summer sip.
Another excellent use of over-abundant tomatoes is a tomato pie. We used green tomatoes, sliced to medium thickness, and placed into a pie, made the same way that you’d make a pie crust for any other fruit. Unlike the tomato galette, which has no top crust, the tomato pie has a top crust, which makes it suitable for covering with aluminum foil and freezing until sometime this coming winter.
Around this time of year, we used to make tomato sauce, which is, of course, a fine way to use (or “get rid of”) tomatoes. If, however, you want to maintain some texture of the fresh tomato in a cooked preparation, either the galette or the pie would be a good way to go.
We have a green tomato pie in the freezer, and come December or so, we’ll warm it up, crack a bottle of Vermentino and remember, from what will no doubt be the vantage point of a cold and socially distanced winter, the warm days of summer past.