Heirloom tomatoes are the juiciest, tastiest, tomatoes you’ll ever bite into and they come into season in an explosion of flavor around the fourth of July when the heat begins to soar here in “Hotlanta” in the Southeast.
So, if you’re growing tomatoes — especially cherry tomatoes here in the South — you’ll want an arsenal of tasty recipes to capitalize on this goodness that summer brings. And the EASIEST recipe to make that will be a crowd pleaser for any age is the Tomato Galette. A Galette ( /ɡəˈlet/ ) is a term used in French cuisine to designate various types of flat round or free-form pastry edge that has a rustic feel to it. But the beauty of a Galette is it is not a heavy pastry like a pizza dough — it has a lightness to it that makes it feel like treat.
As you know, we make basil pesto here in our house and keep Mason jar’s full of it in the freezer to take out whenever we need to get our pesto-fix. And as I was thinking about how we were going to utilize these gorgeous heirloom hydroponically-grown tomatoes I thought… what goes better together than tomatoes and basil?!
Now, if you’re a busy mama like me, you’ve already done the work to harvest and cut your own home-grown tomatoes, so I cheat on one thing — the pastry. I admit it… I prefer to just use the store-bought pie pastry. I keep several rolls in my freezer and then take them out the day before (as well as some freezer pesto if I don’t already have some thawed out in the fridge) and move them into the refrigerator.
Here’s another tip: Buy the store-bought refrigerated Pie Dough pastry on clearance and put it in the freezer for quick and easy meals whenever you need it!— ERIN CASTILLO, GYHG Founder
When I sit down to cut my tomatoes, I simply take the thawed rolled store-pie crust out of the refrigerator and let it warm up a bit before unrolling it onto a cookie sheet that I’ve sprayed with olive oil.
The next cheat is my homegrown homemade Basil Pesto that I grab from the fridge (check out my favorite recipe here). I simply put about a 1/3 cup onto the center of the pastry dough and spread with a spatula and stop short of the edge of the pastry about and inch-and-a-half away where I will ultimately fold the edge back. (See example pic below)
Next, I assemble an assortment of harvested heirloom tomatoes taking advantage of large, medium and small options for interest and flavor. Remember, we like to eat with our eyes, so have fun and make a pretty pattern of your choosing. I like to finish it all off with a crumbled quality goat cheese or a tasty aged crumbled blue cheese.
The last step is to fold over the edge of the pastry about a 3/4″-1″ to create a sort of finished edge to the Tomato Galette. (See above pic for example of finished galette before it goes into the oven.) I like to have a rustic look to mine, so I don’t even bother with an egg wash for the pie crust at this point because the family will love it plain and simple and long for another slice as is so I keep things simple.
I follow the Refrigerated Pie Dough Pastry instructions on the packaging for oven temp and length of time. On my particular brand of pastry shown in the photos within this article, it recommended 375ºF for 11 minutes. I ended up turning off the heat and letting it sit in the oven for an additional 10 minutes until my husband got home from work and it still turned out great and was warm when served.
Two pie crusts formed into Tomato Galettes will serve 8 slices if cut into fourths. For our family of seven, one slice is usually a tease that leaves everyone wanting more. If you have a bigger tribe like I do, be sure to plan for more than what the recipe calls for… I would suggest one Tomato Galette to serve two people, two Galettes to serve three-to-four people.
Heirloom Tomato Galette with Basil Pesto
• 2 Large Cherokee Purple Tomatoes (or other Large Heirloom Tomato Slicer Variety of your choosing)
• 2 dozen smaller Cherry Tomato Varieties of your choosing (we used Yellow Jubilee, Brad’s Atomic Grape, Dancing with Smurfs Cherry Tomato, and Blue Cream Berry Cherry Tomato)
• 1/3 cup Basil Pesto (you can use store-bought for convenience; we used our own homemade home-grown Basil Pesto from the freezer)
• 2 Ready-Bake Refrigerated Pie Dough Pastries
• 1 container of Crumbled Blue Cheese or Crumbled Goat Cheese
USED AS A TOPPING | FINISHING FLAVORS:
• 6-7 fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Take Ready-to-Bake Refrigerated Pie Dough Pastry and Pre-made Homegrown Basil Pesto from the freezer and place in refrigerator to slowly thaw the day before you make your Galettes.
- Pre-heat your oven to the temp listed on your Refrigerator Pie Dough Pastry packaging.
- When you’re ready to make the Galettes, take Basil Pesto and Refrigerated Pie Dough Pastry from fridge and allow both to warm-up a little bit while you slice your tomatoes.
- Slice to a 1/8″ all cherry tomatoes. Try to use a variety of heirloom cherry tomatoes for visual interest as well as taste. Slice larger Cherokee Purple tomatoes to 1/4″ thick removing the tougher skin near where the vine attached to the tomato.
- Take a large cookie sheet and spray lightly with a non-stick olive oil spray. Carefully un-roll your Refrigerated Pie Dough Pastry onto the greased cookie sheet.
- Place about 1/3 cup of pesto into the center of each Refrigerated Pie Dough Pastry that is now laying flat on the greased cookie sheet. Spread basil in a circle stopping about 1.5″ from the edge of the Refrigerated Pie Dough.
- Next, starting with your larger sliced tomatoes (ie: Cherokee Purples), place onto flat Refrigerated Pie Dough Pastry with spread Basil Pesto and arrange in any pattern of your choosing. Repeat the same step with the smaller sliced cherry tomatoes.
- Sprinkle to your preference crumbled Blue Cheese or crumbled Goat Cheese.
- Place prepared Heirloom Tomato Galettes into hot oven and bake according to directions on Refrigerator Pie Dough packaging. (Note: I like a rustic look to my galettes, but if you want to spruce it up a bit, you can also do an egg wash on the crust edge if you want it to look shiny when it comes out of the oven.)
- Take out of oven and garnish with fresh basil leaves once it has cooled for about 10 minutes.
- Slice into fourths and serve warm. Enjoy!
• Refrigerate any left overs (there probably won’t be any though.) 😉
• To learn how you can grow your own heirloom tomatoes and basil at home all year round hydroponically, visit Grow Your Health Gardening.
This recipe is Corn-free and Sugar-free.
Credit: Grow Your Health Gardening