Nothing fancy and so very easy; you can even serve this recipe at room temperature!
A long time ago I learned that the tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable. So, for years now I have been enjoying the expressions I get when someone asks me to name my favorite fruit and I say “tomato.”
Okay, so I’m siding with the botanists here because nutritionists still categorize it as a vegetable. Maybe it’s both! Uh oh, now I’ve just triggered a new conversation that’ll take at least an hour or so for people to Google on their phones. You know me and how much I love triggering conversations! It’s an art!
Seriously, though – fruit or veggie – the tomato is lovely to behold and sweet to eat no matter the variety – especially when it’s in season like it is now. I love them on anything – pasta, salads, and savory dishes. I’ll even eat one like an apple with a pinch of sea salt!
No surprise, I will try just about any recipe where tomatoes are the attore principale or ‘main actor’ in a dish like this quick and easy Tomato Feta Galette I found on one of my favorite recipe sources: The Kitchn (www.thekitchn.com).
The recipe involves just a bit of quick and easy preparation. Check out my video where I show you how it’s done. Don’t be intimidated – everything you need is found at the store. The pie crust is even found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store (you can make it from scratch but it’s definitely NOT necessary).
The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it comes during the last weeks of summer where tomatoes are still in season (through September) and the patio beckons us to dine al fresco. Make this, add a simple salad and a glass of pinot grigio (if you like) and I guarantee a lovely informal evening with friends and a few more wonderful food memories.
- 1 pie crust; make one yourself if you really feel adventurous, but I used a store-bought pie crust and it tasted great.
- 6 ounces of feta cheese.
- 1 medium-sized shallot, sliced and separated into ‘rings’
- 1 TBS fresh thyme leaves (just slide your fingers down the stalk – and pull the leaves off) plus a couple of sprigs of thyme for decoration
- 1 TBS basil leaves, chopped
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
- 3 medium-sized tomatoes (about 1 pound), sliced about ¼” thick.
- A large baking sheet (at least 12” wide).
- Parchment paper, or a Silpat nonstick baking mat if you have one for the baking sheet
- Be sure to preheat your oven to 400°F and position the rack in about the middle of the oven.
- Lightly flour a flat surface and use a floured rolling pin to roll out the pie crust dough to about 12” diameter. It doesn’t have to be perfectly round. The pie crust will end up about 1/8” thick.
- When you’re done, gently roll up the pie crust dough around the rolling pin and lay it out onto the prepared baking sheet. You’ll want that parchment paper or silpat to make sure the galette won’t stick to the pan.
- Sprinkle the feta evenly onto the dough. Leave about a 2” margin from the edge, then add the shallots, thyme leaves, basil, salt, and pepper. Lay the tomatoes over the cheese and herbs.
- Fold the edges of the dough over the top of the tomatoes. Pleat the dough every so often by pinching it. My video will show you how that’s done. Don’t sweat perfection – the more ‘lumpy’ it looks, the better.
- Top it off with the sprigs of thyme.
- Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the crust is golden-brown and the tomatoes are soft. Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes, then transfer it to a wire baker’s rack to chill out for another 10-15 minutes.
- Serve warm or at room temperature for a party of six with good-sized portions.
A tip about the tomatoes in this recipe: tomatoes are super juicy and full of water. Avoid ending up with a soggy crust bottom by making sure that you use enough feta to cover the pie crust dough entirely. This will keep tomato juices from soaking into the crust while baking.
That’s about it. Enjoy the last days of summer!