Sutter Home Winery’s May Book Club Pick and Provencal Tomato Tart – A Perfect Pairing!
Their bestselling memoir, Come Back , inspired readers with the story of Mia Fontaine’s harrowing drug addiction and her mother, Claire’s, desperate and ultimately successful attempts to save her. Now, a decade later, as Mia finds that adult life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, Claire realizes that she forgot to plan for life after motherhood. Determined to transform themselves and a relationship that has frayed around the edges, the pair sets off on a five-month adventure through twenty cities and twelve countries: an extraordinary, often hilarious journey that includes mishaps, mayhem, and unexpected joys, from a passport-eating elephant in Malaysia to the lavender fields of France, where they finally make peace with their tumultuous past. Wiser for what they’ve learned from women in other cultures, and from each other, they return with a deepened sense of who they are and where they want to go.
Claire and Mia shared their recipe for a tomato tart that would pair well with Sutter Home’s Gerwurztraminer wine. This pairing is sure to be a hit at your next book club meeting!
Provencal Tomato Tart
This Tomato Tart is a popular dish served as a first course, or with a green salad for a simple lunch. It’s delicious and sophisticated, yet takes very little time and few ingredients. Best of all, it’s very easy to improvise according to taste and what you have available in the kitchen.
Makes 2 medium tarts
1 frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed (we used Pepperidge Farms, which comes with 2 rectangles of dough)
4 medium to large ripe tomatoes, or 10 Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1½ to 2 cups shredded Gruyere or Emmental cheese
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves (or tarragon, chives, marjoram, torn basil, or a mix)
18 to 20 small black oil-cured olives or Nicoise olives, pitted (less if using larger Kalamata olives, which are best if pitted and coarsely chopped)
1 small garlic clove, finely minced (optional)
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or Romano, Pecorino, or Asiago)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper (this will save you cleaning the pans later).
3. Thaw the dough according to package instructions. Cover a cutting board with one of the two parchment papers. Place 1 rectangle of dough on it, floured side down (if neither side is already floured, lightly flour the parchment). Using a rolling pin, gently roll the rectangle from the center out, so it is about an inch wider on all four sides.
4. Fold or roll up about half an inch of the edges of all sides.
5. Carefully transfer the parchment and dough to one of the baking sheets.
6. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
7. Thinly slice the tomatoes. If not using Roma tomatoes, drain the excess juice from the cutting board.
8. Using the back of a spoon, spread 1 tablespoon of mustard on each puff pastry to the folded or rolled edge. Divide the Gruyere in half and sprinkle on top of the mustard, covering evenly.
9. Lay the tomatoes on the tarts in rows, either flat or slightly overlapping if needed. Season with sea salt and coarse ground pepper. Sprinkle with the herbs, olives, garlic (if using), and Parmigiano.
10. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are golden brown.