Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rustic Tomato Mozzarella Tart

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I tried to finish this post while I was stuck in Shanghai but then blogger seems to be a censored site. It's typhoon season in Hong Kong, so my flight was delayed. Ungh. We were put in some awful hotel and fed terrible food. Also, there was a sign in there that apologized for all the mosquitoes that were infesting the place! Ahh. Luckily, I'm not so prone to mosquito bites and I just figured out why...

Do Mosquitoes Love You or Hate You?
One in 10 people are highly attractive to mosquitoes so says a professor at the University of Florida. It's actually not dinner they want, but female mosquitoes (the ones that do all the work) need blood to develop fertile eggs and apparently, you've got to have some good blood for them to want  eggs to hatch in them. EW.. Now let's take a look at this list...

1. How much carbon dioxide do you emit?      
  • I guess you wouldn't really know, but people who are heavier, preggers or have faster metabolisms tend to exhale more carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes are attracted to the gas apparently.
2. How sweet do you taste?         
  • If you exercise quite a bit or sweat profusely, your perspiration contains lactic acid, octenol and other chemicals that mosquitoes love. Motion also gets their attention and you're emitting more carbon dioxide.
3. Are you goth? Or do you just like wearing black
  • These buggers are highly visual and their first mode of search for humans is for dark colors.
4. How hot are you?          
  • Your body temperature or warmth can make a difference. It's why they flock to pregnant women because of their extra body heat.

But then again, the American Mosquito Control Association said it could be that people who don't get bitten produce chemicals on their skin that make them more repellant and cover up smells that mosquitoes find attractive. So remember to cover up yourself with some DEET this summer! Luckily, I have my little brother who acts as my repellant. I guess I'm just not so tasty and he is (yay for me)!

Rustic Tomato Mozzarella Tart 
Makes one 9" tart

Ingredients Herb Pie Crust 
1.5 cup flour 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp pepper 
1 tsp coriander (or rosemary) 
1 tsp Basil chopped 
1/2 cup butter (I used margarine) 
5-8 tbsp ice water 

2 medium red/yellow tomatoes (cut 1/4 inch thick) 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil divided 
1/2 cup part skim Mozzarella 
2 tbsp flour 
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Making the dough
Combine flour, salt, pepper, basil, coriander (or other dried herb). Add chilled cubed butter/margarine and cut int the flour mix. I used my fingers to make the flour crumbly but you need to make sure to first cube the butter in small bits. The flour should be crumbly and pea-like bits everywhere. Don't overwork it or you'll melt the butter. 

Add the cold water tablespoon by tablespoon until just combined. Dump dough onto waxed paper and roll it out into a circle to about 1/4 inch thick with saran wrap on top. Chill for 2 hours (I only did 1 hour and it was fine!)

Making the tart filling 
Preheat oven to 410F Place sliced tomatoes on 2-3 layers of paper towels, salt and stand 20 minutes. Cover with paper towel over the top
Take your chilled dough out and roll it out to 1/8 inch thick. Place 1/2 cup shredded cheese and 1/4 cup basil on the dough. Leave a 1 inch border. Sift 1 tbsp of flour over the cheese.

Arrange 1/2 the tomato slices, sift 1 tbsp of flour over that and then top with remaining tomatoes. Sprinkle about 1/4 tsp coarse salt and pepper. Fold edges of dough to cover part of the tomatoes and press to seal.

Bake for 35 mins or until crust is slightly brown. Let stand 10 mins, then crack fresh black pepper and top with remaining basil. I also added about 1 tbsp of parmesan to the mozzarella to give some bite. Feel free to crumble goat cheese on top after baking too!


    1. Mosquitoes love me! Now I know why. Also this pizza tart looks so delicious but so do-able.

    2. What a gorgeous tart :) I wanted to thank you for submitting this to Recipe Sharing Monday last week. The new party is up this morning and I'd love it if you joined us again. Have a great week!