In this week’s 4PM Panic post, I’m using the beautiful assortment of heirloom tomatoes available at Heinen’s. Inspired by the classic BLT sandwich this tart incorporates all the ingredients and flavors we love with a mix of crispy bacon, manchego cheese, mayonnaise, caramelized onions and fresh herbs. Serve with tender baby lettuce for a true BLT.
I’m starting with the bacon. There’s such a difference when you buy quality thick-cut bacon. Have you ever opened a package of bacon and found mostly fat and very little slivers of meat. Heinen’s thick-cut bacon has the perfect ratio. You need the fat, that’s what gives bacon it’s great flavor, but if it’s all fat it will cook off leaving you with small pieces of cooked bacon and a pan of grease. Pound for pound buying quality bacon is worth the price in the end.
The heirloom tomatoes are not only beautiful, they’re flavor is complex and intense. Heirloom plants are grown from seeds that have been passed down for years. If you’ve never tasted fresh heirloom tomatoes, you’ve never really tasted a tomato. The subtle differences in tomatoes have been bred out by large commercial farms. Canning recipes from the ’30s and ’40s didn’t call for anything to be added to the tomatoes. They had their own natural acidity and sweetness. Today recipes call for adding lemon juice and other acid or sweetening agents. We had it right 100 years ago. When these beautiful tomatoes are cooked in this way the natural sugars and flavors are intensified giving this BLT tart a rich, complex flavor.
BLT Heirloom Tomato Tart
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons shredded manchego cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8oz thick-cut bacon cut and cooked
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 1/4 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes
- Kosher salt
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Freshly ground pepper
To make the crust:
- Pulse the flour, cornmeal and fine salt in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and 3 tablespoons manchego; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with pea-size bits of butter.
- Drizzle in 4 tablespoons ice water and pulse until the dough comes together; add 1 more tablespoon ice water if necessary.
- Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
- Put the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll into a 13-inch round.
- Transfer the dough to a 9 1/2-inch tart plate with removable bottom.
- Pierce the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line the crust with foil, then fill with dried beans. Bake until the edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking until golden all over, 10 to 15 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Make the filling:
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, thinly slice the tomatoes; toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a colander. Let drain, gently tossing occasionally, about 30 minutes.
- Increase the oven temperature to 375° F. Combine the remaining 3/4 cup manchego, the mozzarella, cooked bacon, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons each chive and parsley, the thyme, 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper, and the sautéed onion in a bowl.
- Spread in the crust. Arrange the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with pepper.
- Bake until the tomatoes are browned, about 50 minutes. Top with the remaining 1 tablespoon each chive and parsley.