Rustic Tomato Tart with Herbed Vegan Chevré

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – It’s a healthy rustic tomato tart that’s not only gluten-free it’s also vegan! Writer, photographer, cook Nikki Gardner from ArtsAndLemons.Com showed us how to make it.

Rustic Tomato Tart with Herbed Vegan Chevré
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Rustic tart dough:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose or whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
12 tablespoons cold, vegan butter, cut into small pieces (or frozen vegan butter shredded on a box grater)
1/3 to ½ cup ice water as needed

For the sundried tomato paste:
10 sundried tomatoes from a jar
1 fresh red chile, sliced
2 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon natural cane sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt

For the tart filling:
8 stalks fresh oregano, leaves picked and roughly chopped
10 ounces vegan chevré (see recipe below), sliced into rounds
1 pound ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
8 stalks fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing on the tart dough
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
To make the rustic tart dough, mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Cut in the butter by hand or using a mixer with a paddle attachment, leaving some pea-sized chunks. Sprinkle the ice water over the top by the tablespoon and toss it with the flour mixture until you can bring the dough together into a ball. Press it into a disk and refrigerate and let the dough chill for 15 minutes.

To form a galette, roll it out on a lightly floured counter into a 14-inch irregular circle about 1/8-inch thick. Fold it into quarters and transfer it to the back of a sheet pan or a cookie sheet without sides. Unfold it. It will be larger than the pan.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

To make the sundried tomato paste, put all the ingredients in the small bowl of a food processor and process to a rough paste; if necessary, add a little oil from the tomato jar to bring it together. If your food processor bowl is too large, you may need to do some of the chopping by hand.

To assemble the tart, Spread the sundried tomato paste over the prepared tart dough, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle with the oregano and vegan chevré, and arrange the tomatoes on top, slightly overlapping but not too precisely. Make sure the tomato paste is covered by fresh tomatoes because it tends to burn. Drop the thyme stalks over the tomatoes and drizzle with a little olive oil. Fold the edges of the dough over the tomatoes, creasing every inch or so. Brush the top lightly with olive oil.

To bake the tart, bake until the crust is golden, 25 to 30 minutes, until the dough is cooked and the tomatoes are tender.

Herbed Vegan Chevré
Makes 10 ounce log

Ingredients:
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives

Directions:
Place cashews in large bowl and cover with 3 inches water. Soak overnight.
Drain liquid, rinse cashews under cold water, and drain again. Puree cashews, oil, lemon juice, salt and 2 tablespoons water in a high-speed blender or food processor until the texture is completely smooth and creamy.
Place strainer over bowl, and line with triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon cashew mixture into cheesecloth. Fold sides of cloth over cheese, and form into 6-inch-long oval loaf. Twist ends of cloth and secure with rubber bands. Set in strainer over bowl, and let stand 2 hours at room temperature. Discard excess liquid. Chill.
Preheat oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap cheese, and scrape into 7-inch-long log on cheesecloth. Rewrap, and twist ends to secure. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 35 minutes, or until cheese becomes set on outside but still soft, turning occasionally. Cool, and chill.
Unwrap cheese. Spread chopped chives on a cutting board. Gently roll the cheese over the chopped chives, coating the outside.

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