Rustic Tomato Tart

·         1 tablespoon olive oil

·         1 small onion, halved and sliced thin

·         1 teaspoon chopped garlic

·         1 refrigerated pie crust

·         4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

·         1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or basil or other herbs)

·         1 cup rinsed, drained cannellini beans (Optional)

·         ¾ to 1# of sliced tomatoes

·         4 ounces mozzarella cheese, Shredded

·         Freshly ground Pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil for 20 seconds over medium heat. Add the onion, reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the onion is golden, remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.

Unroll the pie crust and arrange it on a pizza pan or large sheet cake pan. Sprinkle the pie crust with half the Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary. Spoon the onion mixture and the beans over the dough, spreading it out evenly and leaving about 1 inch of space around the edges. Arrange the tomato slices over the beans. Top with the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle the tart with the remaining Parmesan cheese, the remaining rosemary, herbs and pepper.

Try this with a variety of toppings, instead of tomatoes, use butternut squash, apples, pears, sweet potatoes or other favorites.  Change up the cheeses, or herbs for a completely different dish!  Don’t be afraid to experiment with different crusts as well-refrigerated croissant  rolls, pizza dough, foccocia bread, the possibilities are endless!

 

Harvesting and preserving Herbs~

Gather and place immediately into water.

Use herbs fresh when possible.  Herbs will keep in water on counter for 5-7 days.

Drying herbs:  Turn oven on to 200-250.  Place herbs on non-stick cookie sheet, one layer.  Turn off oven, and place cookie sheet in oven overnite.  If herbs are not dry, repeat process.  Store in airtight containers, and break or use mortal and pestal at time of cooking.

Freezing herbs: Place herbs in ice cube tray or other small container.  Fill remaining space with a liquid such as Chicken stock, apple juice, orange juice, etc.  (something that you will use to cook the herbs with at a later time.)  When cubes are frozen, transfer to a ziplock storage bag, and label for use later.

 

Making Vinegars:  Any vinegar can be used, but a regular white distilled vinegar works fine.  Prepare herbs by rinsing and patting dry, care must be taken to not have any residual moisture to cloud the vinegar.  Place herbs in Canning jar or other non reactive glass jar.  Heat vinegar in microwave for  1:45 minutes per cup.  Pour heated vinegar over herbs and cap.  Leave herbs in for about 2 weeks, then strain and discard herbs. 

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