It doesn't matter on which corner your farmers market or grocery store is found; regardless of where you live, right now is hands-down the best time to enjoy the broadest breadth of fruits and vegetables. Salads are the most straightforward way to appreciate warm-weather produce, but for something more substantial, why not opt to impress with a flaky tart?
Use Summer's berry and stone fruit bounty to fashion an elegant dessert pastry. In the meantime, free-form a savory tart, too: pick from heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, squash, or eggplant, add your choice of cheese, plus some chopped herbs for extra flavor. The end result is a glimpse of the Summer sun in your mouth. For a couple of recipes to get you started, keep reading.
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup whole almonds, toasted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
2 ounces crumbled almond paste (about 3 packed tablespoons)
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
3-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
3 tablespoons cake flour
9 medium apricots (about 22 ounces), pitted, quartered
20 cherries, pitted, halved
- For crust: Blend first 3 ingredients in processor until almonds are finely ground. Using electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar in medium bowl until blended. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture; beat until blended. Gather dough into ball; flatten into square. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 1 hour.
- Roll out dough on floured surface to 10-inch square. Transfer to 9-inch square tart pan with removable bottom; press crust over bottom and up sides of pan. Trim any excess dough. Pierce crust all over with fork; chill at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep chilled.)
- For filling: Preheat oven to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat almond paste and 4 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl until fine meal forms, about 3 minutes. Add butter; beat until almost smooth. Add egg; beat until smooth. Beat in flour. Spread filling evenly in unbaked crust. Arrange apricot quarters on sides with rounded side up in rows atop filling. Place cherry halves between apricots. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over fruit.
- Bake tart 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Bake until crust is golden and filling is puffed and golden, about 30 minutes longer. Cool tart in pan on rack at least 1 hour. Serve tart warm or at room temperature.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound small yellow squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons prepared pesto
5 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
All-purpose flour, for dusting
14 ounces puff pastry, chilled
1 plum tomato, very thinly sliced
1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water
10 small pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 425° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the squash and onion and season with salt and white pepper. Cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the squash and onion are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a strainer and press lightly.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, blend the pesto with the goat cheese. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a 13-inch square; trim the square to 12 inches. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and invert it onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Spread the goat cheese all over the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Top with the squash mixture. Arrange the tomato slices on the tart and sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Fold up the sides, pressing the corners together. Trim any excess pastry at the corners. Brush the pastry with the egg wash and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 45 minutes, until the edges are golden and the bottom is completely cooked through. Sprinkle with the olives, cut into squares and serve right away.