I went out to eat recently and although I had a fantastic meal, my heart broke a little when the waitress told me that an heirloom tomato is “just a really fresh tomato”. Well…..considering they have a much shorter shelf-life, I guess that is true. However, there’s a bit more to it than that.
An heirloom tomato (much like family jewels) is a varietal in which the seeds have been passed down for several generations. In other words, a non-hybrid. However, as they’ve become more popular over the years, this definition has been stretched. Now you’ll see tomatoes that have been cross-pollinated with other varieties to showcase certain characteristics (such as certain colors, stripes, etc) and still referred to as heirloom.
I think they’re uniquely beautiful, distinctly delicious, and fun to cook with! For this week’s post, I made you the smoothest/creamy-est polenta and goat cheese tart topped with loads of fresh heirloom tomatoes.
The secret? It takes a bit of effort….but if you’ve been following me for some time, you know I’m all about the labor of love! After making the cheesy polenta mixture, I made SURE there were no lumps by pushing every ounce of it through a fine sieve. It takes a bit of time and some muscle (oh heyyy – workout done! now let’s eat!), but I think it’s totally worth it.
Bake, top with your FRESH heirloom tomatoes and enjoy! I hope you try it and love it.
Until next time….
Heirloom Tomato & Goat Cheese Polenta Tart
- 1 9 inch pie crust dough
- 18 oz. prepared polenta
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- ½ orange, zest and juice
- 1 egg
- ¼ C water
- 1 tsp honey
- salt & pepper
- a handful of heirloom tomatoes (different colors & sizes)
- basil, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch round pie pan. Lay the raw pie crust into the pan and press into the edges. Cut the excess off of the top and poke holes all over the bottom with a fork to prevent bubbles.
- Pre-bake the pie crust for 15 minutes in the oven. Then remove and set aside.
- If you bought pre-made polenta and it’s in a firm log, cut it up into small pieces. If you just made some and it’s soft, exclude the water from this recipe.
- Combine the polenta, goat cheese, orange zest & juice, egg, water, honey, salt and pepper and heat it up on the stove top on low. Continue to break up the lumps with a fork or a potato masher.
- Then, working in four batches, push all of this mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl to work out all of the lumps.
- Pour the polenta mixture into the pre-baked pie crust and bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour until it firms up. Take out of oven and allow to cool.
- Top with sliced heirloom tomatoes, basil leaves, salt & pepper. Slice and serve room temperature.