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Author Notes: With the last 2 pounds of our garden tomatoes, I decided to slow roast them until shrunken and intensified in their flavor. I knew they would go in as filling for a savory tart, but wasn't sure what with. Since leeks are coming back for a fall harvest, they got sauteed until creamy and I wrapped the whole mess into a craggy (in a good way) yet tender and flaky cornmeal pastry. Its a rustic, beautiful and delicious package that's perfect for this time of year. —xuedanw
Slow Roasted Tomatoes & Sautéed Leeks
- 2 pounds small heirloom or cherry tomatoes
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 2 small-medium leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced (you should have 2 rounded cups sliced)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- good pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 250°F. In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with 2 tsp olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt. They will be slippery, but halve the tomatoes with a serrated knife (I like a bread knife for this). Place on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, with some space between each tomato half. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle lightly with more salt.
- Roast for 2-3 hours, or until tomatoes are collapsed and slightly browned. Let cool for 15 minutes before using. Can be made and stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days ahead.
- Next, make the cornmeal pastry dough (below). While the pastry chills, cook the leeks. In a skillet oven medium-low heat, heat the butter and olive oil and add the leeks through chile peppers. Season with salt and cook until softened and leeks have taken on a little color. Turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes more. Add salt and pepper until well-seasoned. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces and frozen for 15 minutes
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg, beaten
- To make the pastry, combine all dry ingredients through salt in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine well. Add the butter, cutting in with a pastry cutter or quickly using your fingers, until the mixture is coarse with pea-sized chunks of butter. Sprinkle in the buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon until it just comes together. There will probably be loose flour and cornmeal, but don't worry. Line a soup bowl with a large sheet of plastic wrap and fill it with the dough. Twist the package closed and gently knead the loose flour mixture into the dough. Shape into a disk and chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375°F and place a rack in the bottom 1/3 of oven. Remove pastry dough about 20 minutes before you plan to roll it out (reserve the plastic it was wrapped in). Place dough on a 15-inch square of parchment and place the reserved plastic over it. Roll the dough out to a circle about 15 inch in diameter. Leaving a 2-inch border, fill half of leek mixture onto dough, followed by about half of roasted tomatoes, then rest of leeks. Top the filling off with the rest of the tomatoes. (You may find that not all the tomatoes will fit, and will have some leftover. Throw into a salad, sandwich, or just pop them in your mouth.) Sprinkle with a little salt.
- Brush the 2-inch border with egg wash and then fold edges of dough toward center, pressing gently to seal. Don't fret if the pastry rips a little as you do so. Brush the folded crust with egg wash and slide the crostata on parchment onto a baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 min. For the last 10 minutes, remove from the oven. Remove the rack, and return to bake directly on the oven floor (this should help the bottom crust bake properly) until the top crust is a golden brown. Don't be afraid of color! Serve warm or at room temperature.