The Simplest Tomato Tart (+ Gratitude For the People, Part I)

Simplest Tomato Tart (gluten-free and vegan) // 80twentyThe first installation of what I expect to be a regular post I’m calling ‘Gratitude for the People’ where I write to, and about, the amazing people who have had an impact on my life. 

Ten years ago, we were on an early morning run with our running group. My knee was in pain and I had to stop, so you stopped with me. Everyone else continued on. We walked through the trails, just the two of us, me hobbling along while you slowed your speed to match me. You gave up your run that day to be with me. It would be the first of many times that you stayed by my side. We walked through the wooded trails, beams of light peeking in through overarching branches, and it was in that moment that I asked you if we’d be friends forever. You laughed at my question and teased me a little. I think you thought it was funny that I’d asked, perhaps even cute. But you said yes, we would be. You told me you’d be there when I birthed my first baby. You’d had a home birth, so you could walk me through it. You’d walk me down the aisle or get ordained (if that’s what I wanted) and marry me on my wedding day. (Wouldn’t that be a sight!?) You’d be there for my life, you said. We’d only met a couple of weeks before when I asked you if I could run with you. A 5km run, and what seemed like a lifetime of shared stories later, we were deep into a friendship so close that people thought we were sisters.Simplest Tomato Tart (gluten-free and vegan) // 80twentyThrough the years, we’ve seen each other through a lot. You moved across the country. I followed shortly after, at least according to you. You left your marriage while I put my heart into a couple of significant relationships, looking for the one that I wanted to spend my life with. We’re both good on our own and being single was something we both settled into comfortably, happily even, but I’ve always wanted the happily ever after. Love is amazing, we’d both agree on that. Yet, you never hesitate to remind me that marriage is overrated. I still want it. Marriage, that is. And you get that. In amongst all this, we’ve both had some really bad dates. Just sayin’. Not to put too fine a point on it, but do you remember when we were going to write a book about dating from two different perspectives—one from a woman in her 20s and one from a woman in her 40s? Oh, the stories we could have told! I still think we could have gotten a book deal for that one!

Simplest Tomato Tart (gluten-free and vegan) // 80twentyTen years later, your career is exactly where you dreamed it would be and I’m starting all over trying to find a new career path. In this time we’ve shared tears, laughter, sadness, joy, and compassion for the gifts and challenges that life has brought us—death, illness, new friendships and partners to contend with, road trips and road rockets (but never at the same time), and more laughter and love than most people see in their lifetime. I’ve seen your son grow to become a man, an intelligent and caring man with integrity, compassion, a great sense of humour, and the courage to challenge people on their shit. You taught him that. This man, who can pick up an instrument and play so beautifully that we sit captivated for hours. You made him! I am always in awe of what you create.

Simplest Tomato Tart (gluten-free and vegan) // 80twentyYou bring such beauty into your life—experiences, relationships, moments, things. Every one of them is curated with such care and intention. Yet, you also have the capacity to live with such freedom, not thinking about the consequences and just being in the moment. This juxtaposition is at the core of who you are. It’s why I always know that I can trust you. No matter which way life goes, you will be there. I hope you always know that I’ll be there too. We may bend, but we never break.

You have taught me about what it means to be a friend. You have taught us all.

Simplest Tomato Tart (gluten-free and vegan) // 80twentyA few weeks ago, you invited me to your cottage and it was exactly what I needed—to be with nature, to experience the still of the lake and the rustling of the trees, and you. I needed to be with you. I didn’t even know it, but you did. When I told you that I might need to have a good cry when I got there, you said that I could just feel whatever I needed to feel in a safe place. When I read your text, I cried on the spot. You’re always a safe place. This is one of the many reasons that I love you.

You are a model of the best of friends and I could write for pages about the gifts that you bring to me, to all of us. Everyone should have someone like you in their life.

Simplest Tomato Tart (gluten-free and vegan) // 80twentySo lady, I made this tart thinking of you. You like simple food, the kind that doesn’t take too much of an effort or a lot of unknown ingredients, but that is exquisite in taste. Lately, you like it when others cook for you, so you’ll just have to tell me when you want to come over.

As for my readers, since I can’t fit all of you into my apartment, I must insist that you make this yourself. It really is the simplest tomato tart. The crust ingredients are easily mixed in a food processor and simply pressed it into a tart pan to bake. The gluten-free (and optionally vegan) base is full of nutritious almonds and oats. If you eat dairy, I recommend using butter instead of olive oil. I’ve made it with both (and both are good, I promise), but butter reigns supreme in this case. Simply toss your sliced tomatoes, mixed with a few aromatics, in a bowl and generously cover the crust. Bake in the oven until the tomatoes are cooked through. The crust is a little crumbly, but I think the crumb adds to the character of the dish. I think you’ll soon agree. In fact, I am so sure you’ll love it that you might even be writing a gratitude post about me soon. :)

Simplest Tomato Tart (gluten-free and vegan) // 80twenty

The Simplest Tomato Tart
Author: 
Recipe type: Gluten-free, Vegan (optional), Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Gluten-free and (optionally) vegan, and oh so delicious, this tart serves most. It's a little crumbly so be gentle with cutting and serving the tart. A pizza wheel is a great in this circumstance.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond meal (You can also make your own by processing whole, raw almonds.)
  • 1 cup oats, gluten-free if you prefer
  • 1 tbsp pysllium husk *See note below
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal
  • ½ tsp kosher salt (or ¾ tsp if you're using olive oil instead of butter)
  • 4 tbsp salted butter (or 4 tbsp olive oil *see the note about salt)
  • 1-2 tbsp very cold water
  • 2 - 3 cups chopped, assorted cherry and grape tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters depending on the size
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ a red onion, halved again and thinly sliced
  • A generous pinch of kosher salt
  • *If you don't have access to psyllium, you can try ground flax or a gently whisked egg. I have not tried these substitutions in this tart specifically, but I have used them in other recipes in the past with much success.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Pulse together the almond meal and oats until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  3. Add the psyllium husk, cornmeal, kosher salt and butter or olive oil (be sure to note the amounts) and process again until the mixture starts to come together.
  4. With the machine running, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch tart pan and press down evenly to form a crust.
  6. Gently toss together the cut tomatoes with the mustard, oregano, garlic cloves, onion, and salt.
  7. Pour the mixture onto the tart crust and spread it out evenly over the crust.
  8. Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until the tomaotes are cooked through to your liking. Check after 35 minutes.
  9. I think this tart serves 2-3 well with a salad. But if you want to be more dignified, try serving it to 4 people with a hearty salad and a side of vegetables or crusty bread (gluten-free, if that's your thing).
  10. Eat with gratitude.

 

15 Comments

  • Reply August 29, 2013

    Sophia@ NY Foodgasm

    Beautiful story and beautiful photos!!

  • Reply August 29, 2013

    Kris

    Thanks, Sophia. You are always so kind. :)

  • Reply August 29, 2013

    kelly @ kellybakes

    Oh my dear, I love everything about this post. And good on you for putting goodness and gratitude (okay and who am I kidding? this gorgeous tomato tart too) into the world xo

  • Reply August 29, 2013

    Kris

    Ooooh! Thank you, Kelly. :)

  • Reply August 30, 2013

    Keegan

    I feel so fortunate to be the recipient of a paragraph in this post. I’m lucky to be surrounded by diverse, intelligent and beautiful women…. Including my mother and her best friend. I couldn’t have imagined the cottage without you, and it definitely has to become tradition!

    I’m attempting this for dinner on Saturday. While I am nowhere near the chef that you are, I will be giving it my all!

    All the love in the world.

    • Reply August 30, 2013

      Kris

      Huge hugs to you!! And I’m so excited that you’re going to try it. I hope you love it!

  • Kris – this looks amazing. I can’t wait to share this recipe with my readers!

    Is there something I could use in place of the psyllium husk?

    XO SHERRIE

    • Reply August 30, 2013

      Kris

      Yes! I’m going to make a note in the recipe now that people can use ground flax or an egg because I realize that not everybody will know what it is or have access to it. I have to admit, I haven’t tried the tart with these substitutions, but in the past, I’ve found them to work with other recipes. I hope this helps!

      • Reply September 5, 2013

        Sherrie | With Food + Love

        Awesome thanks Kris! I’m going to share this and make a note of it. It just may be dinner, looks so freaking yummy :)

        XO SHERRIE

  • Reply September 1, 2013

    Shelly

    Oh my – SO many summer flavors here! SO gorgeous!

  • Reply September 1, 2013

    Shelly

    Oh my – so many summer flavors here! So gorgeous!!

    • Reply September 2, 2013

      Kris

      Thank you, Shelly! I can’t get enough tomatoes these days. It’s my favourite time of the year. :)

  • Reply September 3, 2013

    Janine

    Beautiful words, and a great use for the abundance of tomatoes in my garden!

  • Reply August 13, 2014

    Katrina

    So excited to try this! I’m going to use an egg… But I was wondering if I should use the whole egg or just one tablespoon of the whisked egg, since it calls for 1 tablespoon of psyllium. Thanks!

    • Reply August 13, 2014

      Kris

      Hi Katrina, I haven’t done it with an egg yet, but I don’t think a whole egg will hurt it. The tart crust is pretty forgiving. I’ve been waiting for tomato season to make this tart again. Thankfully it’s finally here! I love it so much! If you do try it, will you let me know how it turned out? I hope you enjoy!

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