What’s the weather like where you are? Here in Maryland, we’re experiencing an uncanny second summer: 80˚+ temperatures in the middle of October. Heat-lover though I am, I can’t quite get behind this divergence from the natural progression of the seasons.
I’d already started preparing my garden for the winter — trimming back unruly tomato vines, pulling dead plants — when the temperature skyrocketed. But with this return of the heat, tomatoes I’d long since given up for green are getting a second chance to ripen. I’d already picked some of the larger green ones, thinking that even a week of warmth wouldn’t be adequate for those big ones. And so, here I am with a few pounds of green tomatoes of all shapes and sizes.
After trying my hand at that Southern classic, fried green tomatoes, and finding them lackluster, I knew I couldn’t rely on traditional uses for my unripe fruit. What to do? How about a galette, where green tomato slices are roasted to tangy perfection and layered atop a creamy tofu ricotta base? Seasoned lightly and ensconced in a crunchy cornmeal-laced crust, this is the perfect way to elevate those green tomatoes to the level of their more revered ripened brethren.
This recipe requires three components and might seem time-consuming. But individually, each piece is relatively simple, and the ricotta can be made ahead and let sit overnight. The result is a flavorful yet sturdy green tomato tart that you can slice and eat like pizza — no need to dirty a fork.
Roasted Green Tomato Galette with Tofu-Walnut Ricotta
Serves two as a main and four as a side
For the tomatoes
- 12 oz. green tomatoes (about 6 small tomatoes) sliced into ~1/8″ rounds
- 1 T olive oil
- 1-2 T balsamic vinegar (I prefer less, but you might not!)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- A few grinds black pepper
For the crust
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/3 cup olive oil, chilled (refrigerate it for a few minutes before starting the recipe)
- 1/4 cup cold water
For the tofu-walnut ricotta
- 1 block extra-firm tofu, drained
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts (you can omit these if you’d like; see Notes)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1/2 T olive oil
- 2 tsp white or yellow miso
- A few grinds black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
While the oven is preheating, prepare the tomatoes. In a large bowl, drizzle the sliced tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, tossing gently to coat. Sprinkle the sugar, salt, oregano, and pepper on top and stir again to coat.
Pour the tomatoes onto the prepared baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. At the 10-minute mark, shift the tomatoes around gently.
While the tomatoes are roasting, prepare the crust and the ricotta.
To make the crust:
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and oregano. Drizzle in the olive oil, and use clean hands, a fork, or a pastry cutter to work in the oil until it forms sandy crumbs. Drizzle in the cold water and stir to combine, using your hands to knead if necessary. Work it gently until it comes together into a soft dough, but do not overwork. Form into a ball and place in the refrigerator, either wrapped in cling film or with a tea towel.
To make the tofu-walnut ricotta:
Use your hands to gently wring out any extra liquid from the tofu, then crumble it into a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and use your hands, a spatula, or a wooden spoon to thoroughly combine. If possible, let sit for 30 minutes before using to let the flavors develop (though this is not necessary).
When the tomatoes are lightly browned and bubbling, remove them from the oven and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 375˚F while you prepare the tart.
On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rough circle or oval about 1/8″ thick. Transfer to a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. (This is a delicate dough, so rolling directly on parchment paper or on the sheet might make this step simpler.) Leaving a 1 1/2″ border, pile about half the ricotta in the center, then layer the tomato slices on top, overlapping slightly. Fold the edge of the dough over the filling.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, just until the crust starts to brown.
- If possible, make the ricotta the day before to let the flavors develop and to save time.
- This recipe requires a half batch of the ricotta, so you can either halve the recipe or save the remaining ricotta for another day. (Stuffed shells, anyone?)
- I included walnuts in the ricotta to add texture and a little extra protein. They’re not necessary, so feel free to leave them out.
- You can use more tomatoes if you have them on hand.
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