What to do with a perfectly ripe tomato

Who’s ready for the heat of summer to end? Raise your hand. When it’s hot, tomato plants stop producing so cooler days also bring the tomatoes. Every year I look forward to these perfectly ripe tomatoes begging me to bake them into tomato tarts.

Tomato tarts are just right for brunch, lunch or a light dinner. I serve them barely warm with a green salad on the side. They’re easy to make but elegant enough for company.

You’ll need lots of sliced tomatoes and onions; I use a mandolin slicer to get even slices quickly.

You could certainly do this with a sharp knife.

Tomato and Caramelized Onion Tart

Time: 1 hour 15 minutes. Yield: 2 tarts – 8 to 12 servings.

The caramelized onion adds a deep, savory flavor to the tart. Remember, low and slow is the way to go when you caramelize onions. You can’t rush this or you’ll end up with burned onions and that makes no one happy.

What You’ll Need:

1 tablespoon oil – olive or vegetable oil

2 large sweet onions –thinly sliced

1 teaspoon honey or sugar

salt and pepper

1 package refrigerated or frozen pie crust – or make you own (show off)

6 to 10 ripe tomatoes depending on size – sliced

2 cups cheese – I use Italian blend but cheddar is also divine

Here’s How:

In a large skillet on medium-low, heat the oil and add the sliced onions. Slowly cook the onions,

stirring often, until they are completely soft and a light golden brown. Drizzle with honey or sugar and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. This takes at least 40 minutes so get this started first.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400°. Follow the instructions to pre-bake the pie crust. Be sure to dock (poke with a fork) the crust before baking. If you made your own – press pie crust on bottom and up sides of two 9-inch shallow pie pans. Bake for 9 minutes or until pie crust is lightly browned; set aside.

Slice the tomatoes and place them on layers of paper towels to drain some of the moisture. Don’t get so engrossed in your tomatoes that you forget to stir the onions. Set aside a few particularly pretty slices to place on top of the tart.

To assemble – place ½ cup cheese on the bottom of each crust, divide the onions evenly between the tarts. Next add the sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide the remainder of the cheese between the tarts and top with your reserved pretty slices.

Bake at 400° for 18 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let rest at least 15 minutes before cutting.

Let the record show – I don’t put bacon in everything I cook. But you certainly could.

Fabulous Food contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com. Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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