A surplus of cream cheese spurred me to rekindle a relationship with my food processor.
My neglect since last summer’s batches of pesto and baba ghanoush wasn’t intentional. Although an undisputed multitasker, a food processor just isn’t necessary in my daily cooking routine. But the appliance is about the only way to grind nuts fine enough to encrust cheesecake bars, detailed in a May post.
Pleased with those results, I’m finding fewer reasons to forgo a more traditional pate brisee, which I’ve made only once or twice in my food processor. Recipes like the one below that enrich basic pastry dough with cheeses, spices and other ingredients almost manage to convince me that they’re really not so much trouble.
But I think I’ll still keep a couple of boxes of frozen puff pastry on hand to make this free-form pie on the fly when garden tomatoes are at a surplus. Third place in last year’s Washington Post Top Tomato contest, Austin Williams conceived this savory tart as a riff on summer’s quintessential sandwich.
Photo by Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post
Parmesan BLT Galettes
4 large tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise, divided
7 strips thick-cut hickory-smoked bacon
1 tablespoon finely chopped, fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups arugula, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Core the tomatoes, then cut them into 3/4-inch slices, transferring them to a mixing bowl as you work. Add the oil, 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper; toss to coat evenly.
Arrange slices in a single layer on prepared baking sheet; drizzle with liquid left in mixing bowl. Roast for 35 minutes, then cool. Drain juices. Tomatoes may be roasted a day or 2 in advance; refrigerate until ready to use.
Meanwhile in bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, 1/2 cup of the cheese, remaining teaspoon of salt and all the butter; pulse just enough to form a mixture that resembles a coarse meal. (Bits of butter should be no larger than peas.) Add 2 tablespoons of the mayonnaise and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, pulsing just to incorporate.
With motor running, drizzle in 1/2 cup ice water; process to form a dough that comes together in a ball. If mixture remains crumbly, add up to 1/4 cup ice water, as needed. Dough should not be sticky. Transfer to plastic wrap and shape into a disc; wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (and up to 2 days).
Line a plate with paper towels. Use kitchen shears to cut the bacon into small strips (lardons), placing them in a medium skillet as you work. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring as needed. Increase heat to medium to finish browning and crisping bacon, which should take 5 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 400 F. Lay 2 sheets of parchment paper on work surface.
Divide dough in half. Roll out each portion of dough on its own parchment paper to a round 11 inches across (about 1/4 inch thick). Transfer each, on its paper, to its own baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining cheese and remaining mayonnaise until well-blended; spread half of mixture on each dough round, leaving a 1-inch margin around edges.
Arrange roasted tomato slices in a circular pattern on each dough round, again leaving a 1-inch margin. Sprinkle with crisped bacon pieces and the rosemary. Fold dough in at edges all around. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until crust is well-browned, rotating baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile in a bowl, toss the arugula with remaining balsamic vinegar and pepper. To serve, cut each galette into wedges, then top each wedge with dressed greens. Serve warm.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.