Roasted Corn and Tomato Crostata

Roasted Corn and Tomato Crostada

Fall is time for fresh starts. Back-to-...well, not school anymore for me although that's a tempting option with its tidy structure and respectable nature. If only it were that simple.

The kids are older and in school all day so what I "do" is mostly a little of this (volunteering and freelancing) and a never ending amount of that (housework, maintenance and filling out forms and such). There's not near as much goofing off as you might think (a serious personal failing).

And I'm lucky, really lucky to be able to not work full-time. But the itch still remains—to get back in, to feel relevant in the larger world, to not have to listen to the strains of "oh, your work is so important" and "that's the hardest work there is" when the inevitable meeting someone new question comes up. Their responses are well-intentioned and spoken truthfully but stinging somehow and my paranoid subconscious is whispering "yeah, they think you're a powder puff who bakes cookies all day and thinks it's an achievement". This really cuts close to the bone because I often DO bake cookies all day and blog about my achievement.

But lookie here. My kids are at their core, secure. Secure in the way a person is without knowing it because it's just how it is, all they've ever known—loved, cared for and never had to question it. Question lots of other things, sure, but not the big one. I saw and envied that in people and wanted it for my kids. The only way I thought I could swing it was to pilot the parenting ship 24/7.

I admire people who can do as well with a lot more outside demands but I didn't think I could be one of them. Quantity time was only option for me.

Speaking of quantity, I put a lot into this crostata—a free form pie that's easy–with the texture and flavor of pastry crust and all the goodness of late summer vegetables. The pastry recipe is my go-to. You can add a few tablespoons of sugar for a sweet variation or a handful of cheese for savoriness. I roast the vegetables for a bit to remove some the crust stays crispier. Good warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Corn and Tomato Crostata

makes one 12 inch pie

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed and chilled (or frozen)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8-10 tablespoons ice water

4 medium tomatoes
2 ears corn
1 medium zucchini
2 teaspoons Herb de Provence or a mix of dried basil and thyme
kosher salt
olive oil
2 tablespoons goat cheese
1 egg (for brushing pastry), whisked

Preheat oven to 350º

Make pastry. Combine flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until flour is pebbly. Add ice water one tablespoon at a time until dough sticks together when you grab it between your fingers. Add more flour or water if it's too wet or dry. Dump onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a thick, flat disk (a big hockey puck). Wrap completely in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Roast veggies. Slice tomatoes into 1/4" slices and lay on a sheet pan. Sprinkle with Herb de Provence and kosher salt. Drizzle with a little olive oil.

Slice zucchini into 1/2" rounds and lay on another sheet pan. Salt and drizzle with olive oil.

Cut corn off cobs and toss with a little olive oil and salt. Spread onto sheet pan with zucchini if it will fit or use another pan.

Roast tomatoes for 45-60 minutes and zucchini and corn for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Turn oven up to 425º

Remove pastry from fridge and roll out between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4" thickness. Put on a sheet pan and, if you have time, refrigerate it for 30 minutes. If not, go ahead and mound vegetable filling in the center, top with goat cheese and spread out leaving a 2" border. Fold up border and brush with whisked egg using a pastry brush. Sprinkle on some coarse salt.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until brown and crisp-looking.


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