La Vie Rustic: Cooking and
Living in the French Style by Georgeanne
Brennan shares recipes driven by the seasons with beautiful
photographs and a touch of the outdoors. This inspiring cookbook
weaves together Georgeanne's personal experience, stories, and tips
on how to create a sustainable life. Celebrating the relationship
between the land and the table, and among food, family, and friends
- no matter where you reside is reflected in the dishes and stories
the author shares.
The prolific Brennan has written a library of
titles. Last Fall her memoir (with recipes) My
Culinary Journey: Food & Fêtes of Provence with
Recipes hit the shelves and it a beautiful read. Of all
her titles, La
Vie Rustic may be my favorite book to date. I say to date
because one never knows when Georgeanne will spring another stunner
of a title on us.
Frozen Meringues & Fresh Apricots, Winter Beignets with
Sauce Verte, Pumpkin Galettes with Fried Sage and Fresh Bay Leaves
Skewered with Eggplant & Peppers are a few examples of the
dishes waiting for you. The chapters are organized as follows: The
Potager: Year-Round Vegetables; The Orchard: Fruits & Nuts; The
Barnyard: Cows, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Chickens, Ducks & Rabbits;
The Forest & Field: Wild Things; The Water: Fish &
Shellfish; and the Appendix covers a Simple Potager with Fruit
Trees for a Small Space. As you can see from the chapter
titles - La Vie Rustic is a journey through the seasons
a number of events planned - check to see if she is in
your area. Special thanks to the author and Weldon Owen for sharing
the cover recipe with our members. Be sure to head over to our contest page to get in your
entry for a chance to win a copy of this beautiful book.
TOMATO TART with WHOLE ROASTED GARLIC
I was served a version of this tomato tart at a tiny French
bistro. A couple ran the off-the-beaten-track spot; she did the
cooking while he tended the bar, and both of them pitched in to
serve us. This tomato tart was one of the first-course options on
the prix-fixe menu that evening, followed by a second course of
braised lamb with flageolet beans, and for dessert, a choice of
flan, apple tart, or ice cream. I've been back many times and have
yet to be disappointed. Although the instructions are for a
rectangular tart pan, a 9-inch (23-cm) round fluted tart pan can be
SERVES 10 AS AN APPETIZER or 4-5 AS A MAIN COURSE
Extra-virgin oil for drizzling
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ tsp herbes de Provence
8-10 Roma or San Marzano tomatoes, cored and halved
12 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (about ½ lb/250 g),
2 tsp crème fraȋche
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Place racks in the upper
and lower thirds of the oven.
Drizzle just enough oil on a rimmed baking sheet to thinly
coat the bottom. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence
over the oil. Place the tomatoes, cut side down, on the baking
sheet, rubbing them around to absorb the oil and seasoning.
Place the garlic cloves on a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle
with some oil, and turn to coat evenly. Seal the foil into a packet
and place it in a small baking dish.
Place the baking sheet with the tomatoes on the upper rack of
the oven and the garlic on the lower rack. Roast the tomatoes until
their skins slip off easily, about 15 minutes. Remove the baking
sheet with the tomatoes from the oven and set aside to cool. Raise
the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue to roast the
garlic until soft and easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about
25 minutes longer. Set aside to cool.
When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove and
discard the skins, leaving the tomatoes on the baking sheet. When
the garlic cloves are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the
skins, leaving the cloves whole. The tomatoes and the garlic can be
prepared a day ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.
Bring to room temperature before using.
Raise the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).
On a floured work surface, roll the puff pastry into a
rectangle about 10 by 13 inches (25 by 33 cm). Drape it over an
8-by-11½-inch (20-by-29-cm) rectangular fluted tart pan with a
removable bottom and gently press the pastry into the pan, letting
the edges hang over the sides. Using your fingers, tuck the excess
dough under to make a folded rim that rises slightly above the
sides of the tart pan.
Line the pastry with aluminum foil and add pie weights or
dried beans. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the exposed
edges begin to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Remove the weights
and foil. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork and continue
to bake until the crust turns a pale bisque, about 3 minutes
longer. If it puffs up, prick the puff with a fork to deflate it.
Let the crust cool slightly.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C).
In a bowl, combine the crème fraîche and mustard. Using a
spatula, spread the mustard mixture evenly over the bottom of the
Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, across the surface of the
tart shell. Tuck the garlic cloves among the tomatoes. With a
pastry brush, brush the tops of the tomatoes with juices from the
baking sheet. Bake until the edges of the crust are puffed and deep
gold and the bottom is cooked through, 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Let stand for 15 minutes. Slip a knife
around the edges of the pan to loosen any clinging bits of pastry.
Gently push on the bottom of the pan, nudging the sides loose.
Slide the tart onto a serving plate, cut into pieces, and serve
The above recipe is excerpted from La Vie Rustic:
Cooking & Living in the French Style (Weldon Owen, March 2017)
by Georgeanne Brennan.