Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Gluten Free

Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Last week at work I got the news that I am going to be working in one of our other teams for the next two and a bit weeks. The work I am going to be doing isn’t particularly hard, but it requires more focus than my usual position, and is great practical experience in things I only studied on a theoretical basis in my post-graduate study. Naturally, I am nervous as all hell.

I know this weakness in myself. When faced with a shift in focus, a challenge that I know in my logical mind that I am perfectly capable of achieving, my not-so-logical mind takes over and pumps up the anxiety levels.

Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I wish I could approach work challenges and changes the way I approach challenges in the kitchen: work out the science, be methodical in the creating, put all my heart and soul into it, and see how it goes. Lose or win I have tried my best and (most of the time) the results are yummy, or I learn from the experience and take those lessons into my next attempt.

What I’m saying is, I wish my work-life could be more like pie. Pastry has never been my strong suit, and gluten free pastry has been on the list of challenges that I have yet to attempt with gusto. But, on the weekend, I strapped on my big-girl panties apron, got out my frozen butter, various flours, and got my hands dirty experimenting with a basic press-in pie crust. This summer is going to be the Great Pie Experiment summer, which is going to mean lots of challenges, a few failures, lots of learning, and some leaps of faith. )Also a lot of running and lifting of weights.)

Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis tart crust is the best to start with if you are either: a) new to cooking pies and tarts (like moi), b) new to cooking gluten free, or c) afraid of cooking things that fall into category  a) or b). There is no kneading, rolling, lifting, cutting or any such tricky thing involved in this savoury tart. You simply make up the crust, allow it to chill for a while, then press the crumbs evenly into a lined and oiled tart pan. It’s just like making shortbread.

The trickiest thing is getting your crust even along the bottom and the sides, and if you make a few mistakes there, no one will know because we load the center of the tart with fresh summer tomatoes, herbs, and fresh mozzarella cheese. If someone does notice, tell them it’s a rustic summer tart. ‘Rustic’ forgives all inconsistencies.

Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAfter some time in the oven, the tomatoes will have deepened and sweetened their natural flavour, and the bright soft baby mozzarella will have melted into cheesy pockets. Trust me, you want cheesy pockets in your life. The reward vs. output for this gluten free savoury tart is high. This is a challenge you can win.

Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSummer Tomato and Herb Tart

Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 4 -6 as a light meal

Note: If you do not require this to be gluten free, just use 140 grams (about 1 cup) of plain flour in place of the first four ingredients.
Note: Xanthan gum is available in supermarkets and health food stores. It helps with the elasticity of the dough.

Ingredients

  • 35 grams sorghum flour
  • 35 grams brown rice flour
  • 35 grams white rice flour
  • 35 grams buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 50 grams butter, frozen
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 275 grams (about 8 small) roma tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 100 grams mini bocconcini (or firm fresh mozzarella)

Method

  1. Measure your flours and xanthan gum into a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  2. Use a box grater to grate your frozen butter into your flour. This is the best way to get small pieces of butter into your dough. Gently ‘rub’ your butter into the flour until it looks like a course meal. You can use your hands or a pastry cutter to do this.
  3. Add salt and pepper and lightly mix to distribute.
  4. Measure in 3 tablespoons of iced water and stir until the dough starts to come together.
  5. Tip crumbly dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Do not bother trying to knead it all together. Wrap tightly and press into a flat disc. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F).
  7. Oil the bottom and side well of a 7-inch (18 cm) removable bottom tart tin, and line the bottom with baking paper.
  8. Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator, tip into the bottom of the tart tin and press dough even around the bottom and up the sides of the tin.
  9. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the bottom looks dry but is still pale.
  10. Slice tomatoes in half and place in partially baked tart shell cut side up. Sprinkle with chopped herbs and dot the mozzarella between the tomatoes.
  11. Bake for a further 20 minutes or until the tomatoes have started to blister and the mozzarella is melted.
  12. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving with a large green salad.

Okay dear readers, who is ready for this challenge? What should my next pastry experiment be?

Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

17 thoughts on “Summer Tomato and Herb Tart | Gluten Free

  1. This tart is as pretty as a picture. I’m so ready for vine-ripened toms and their best mates (basil and mozz) to rock up to my house and have a party. I’m a bit over winter food right now. I’ve just been trying out a gluten free savoury crust. I might give yours a spin soon too. My whole life is like pie – me holding all the good stuff together. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Your pics are divine Amy.

    A suggestion for your next pastry experiment: Gluten Free Rough Puff. I see pies in your near future. x

    • I can’t wait to see your gluten free savoury crust! I can always use more pie/tarts in my life 🙂 And Mum’s are totally the butter in the pastry. Mine holds together all of us so lovingly too 🙂
      Gluten free rough puff ay? I’m on it 🙂

  2. Looks great! Who doesn’t love a cheesy pocket? (Well, just not in my jeans pocket..) 😁 I am doing a fair bit of gf pastry experimenting as well. Looking forward to trying this one. Like that it doesn’t need any blind baking.

    • Oh I can’t wait to see what you come up with! There is only a small amount of par-baking here for the crust. I wanted to start off with something easy and then work my way up 🙂

      • I have posted a gf asparagus and goats cheese tart using a sour cream pastry from gf and me which was pretty darned good. I love pastry but it doesn’t love my waistline! Ha! 😁

  3. Hahaha, you have me cracking up at the “rustic” part!! It’s so true. I am convinced this is why rustic weddings (which I cannot stand) are so popular right now.
    Anyway…
    This is even more wonderful than I had imagined it to be! Matt would so be down to try this– tomato and mozzarella is a favorite combination in the April household. I’ve been wanting to jazz up another quiche recipe using it, which is why I got so excited just seeing one picture of this! Good luck with your pie summer– you’re going to knock it out of the park… Just like you will your new assignment at work! I just know it!

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  6. If you ever want to use something a bit quicker then there’s a company called The Pastry Room that have a Gluten Free range of frozen mixes, they taste amazing and are so quick to use:)

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