The Union Square farmers market at this time of year is a sight for sore eyes. There are piles of colorful stone fruit, crates bursting with green beans, perfectly ripe berries sitting pretty on gingham tablecloths, and basically anything else your heart may desire. What’s more is that it’s all bathed in late summer sunlight, making it feel like an adult Disney World. The heirloom tomatoes that arrive in August are like the homecoming queen of the whole operation – passersby just can’t help but stop and ogle at their perfection. And for good reason – they’re irregularly shaped, colored with a unique tie dye-like pattern, and smell like heaven. They are so sweet and fragrant that they need little more that a sprinkle of sea salt and a piece of fresh crusty bread to be enjoyed.
But heirlooms aren’t the only tomatoes making an appearance this time of year. There are the cherry, beefsteak and plum varieties, too, which are rarely approached with the same enthusiasm. As an ode to the end of this summer, I wanted to create a dish that would highlight these unsung heroes. They may require a little more love and affection than heirlooms, but if you treat them right, they are no less perfect.
Enter this tomato galette recipe. After some time in the oven, the plum tomatoes lose some of their moisture, which concentrates their sweet-savory flavor. And the light, flaky crust they’re sitting in is the perfect vessel for them.
It’s a breeze to make, just like all summer cooking should be. Since it requires only a handful of ingredients, they have to be of the best quality – meaning, no store-bought pastry crusts here. If you are intimidated by making your own crust, watch this Facebook Live video where I show a step-by-step demo of one of my favorite cooking techniques. I suggest for you to locate a farmers market nearby to get those gorgeous late-summer tomatoes I’m referring to. If you are unable to find them, go with campari or cherry tomatoes from your local supermarket. For the bacon, I recommend Applegate organic brand, whose animals are humanely raised without antibiotics or hormones, and whose bacon does not include nitrates or nitrites (known carcinogenic compounds).
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (organic, if possible), cut into cubes
- About ¼ cup ice water
- 2 slices organic bacon
- 3-4 local plum tomatoes, preferably in varying colors, cut widthwise into ⅓" slices
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
- In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, add both flours and sea salt and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse 10-12 times, until butter turns into small pea-sized pieces BUT is not fully incorporated into the flour. With the motor running, slowly stream in ice water a tablespoon at a time, just until the dough forms into a ball against the side of the processor.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead it once or twice to gather it into a disc - do not overwork the dough. Wrap the disc in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to several days.
- Preheat oven to 400F and set a rack in the lowest third of the oven.
- Remove dough from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for 5 minutes.
- Place a sheet of parchment on your counter and sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking. Place dough in the center of parchment and roll it out into a circle 12-14" in diameter. Keep rolled out dough in the fridge while you prep the remaining ingredients.
- Place bacon on a skillet and cook over medium heat until some of the fat is rendered but the bacon is not yet crisp, about 4 minutes. When cool enough to handle, slice bacon into small pieces.
- Sprinkle some flour into the center of the dough and layer tomatoes on top, leaving a 1.5" border. Scatter bacon atop tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season with generous pinches of salt and pepper. Gently fold over the dough border.
- Transfer galette along with the parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until tomatoes are softened and crust is golden brown. Let galette cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy warm.