Before I tell you all about this scrumptious Heirloom Tomato Polenta Tart, I have to digress. Because the countdown is on!
In less than 3 weeks I will be soaking up invaluable information at my second International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) in Seattle. IFBC was my first food blogging conference ever last year, and it was a tremendous experience. I learned so much about writing, technology and photography that I was able to put into practice immediately. I can’t even tell you how many followers have noticed and complimented me on the improvement in my food photos, and I credit that entirely to the superior workshops I attended at IFBC last year.
So it is with great excitement that I’m studying the agenda for IFBC and strategically planning my time. Here’s what I have so far:
Friday – September 19th:
I’ve pre-registered for an early afternoon pre-conference excursion to the Sur La Table corporate test kitchen where we’ll learn how to create buzz and build excitement for our blog through recipe development. Doesn’t that sound right up my alley? Afterwards is the grand opening reception where we’ll fill our swag bags and enjoy fabulous food and wine from conference sponsors.
Saturday – September 20th:
This is a jam-packed day, starting with a keynote address from Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, award-winning authors of The Flavor Bible. This year I’m making sure to pack my book for an autograph opportunity. Next is Modern Editorial Photography: Scrappy Light, Hidden Props and Magic with Todd Coleman, Tasting Table’s Creative Director and Co-Founder. This is followed by a cooking demo with Chef Thierry Rautureau who will be sampling a popular dish from his new Seattle restaurant, Loulay.
In the afternoon, I’ll attend a workshop on wine tasting and writing presented by Bordeaux Wines. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to that one! And finally, I’m planning on attending a writing workshop designed to help me better describe the food I create.
Sunday – September 21st:
On the last day of the conference, I’m planning on attending a session on creating compelling video content. You might have noticed that I haven’t published a video in several weeks, and that’s mostly because of the time it takes to shoot, produce and edit the video. I’m hoping to pick up some tips in this workshop that will help me get back into the game. Then, for my last workshop, I will attend a session on SEO for bloggers in the hopes of improving my search ranking and driving more traffic to my site.
How fabulous does IFBC sound? I can’t wait!
So now, let me tell you about this pretty Heirloom Tomato Polenta Tart. Because aren’t heirloom tomatoes the best taste of summer?
The crust is fairly simple to make, although it does need to be prepped ahead of time. I just whip up a batch of polenta, spoon it into the tart pans, then refrigerate it overnight. Chilling the polenta firms it up so that it makes a nice solid crust for the tart.
Once chilled, I do a pre-bake on the crust to firm it up even more and give it a light crisp before then filling it with a creamy mixture of cheese, shredded zucchini and herbs. This adds a creaminess to the tart while making good use of all that zucchini from the garden.
Finally, I top each tart with a thick slice of heirloom tomato and finely shredded parmesan cheese. The result is a bite of summer heaven.
How do you like to eat your heirloom tomatoes?
- Serves: 6
- Serving size: 1 tart
- Calories: 156.2
- Fat: 6.0
- Saturated fat: 3.2
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.4
- Carbohydrates: 13.4
- Sugar: 3.3
- Sodium: 267.2
- Fiber: 1.1
- Protein: 10.7
- Cholesterol: 80.3
- 1 cup 1% milk
- 1 cup homemade, salt-free vegetable broth
- 1.5 oz. finely shredded parmesan cheese (divided)
- ¼ tsp coarse sea salt (divided)
- ½ cup dry polenta cornmeal
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 oz. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 1 large heirloom tomato cut into 6 slices
- Bring the milk, broth, ½ oz. of the parmesan cheese, and ⅛ tsp (half) of the salt to a gentle boil in a medium saucepan.
- Slowly stir the polenta into the liquid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until thick, about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat and spoon the polenta into 6 individual 4" tart pans. Use the spoon to push the polenta up the sides of the tart and create an indentation in the middle.
- Place the tart pans on a baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered overnight.
- Remove the polenta lined tart pans from the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Bake the polenta lined tart pans on the baking sheet for 15 minutes or until very lightly browned. Remove and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, egg, mozzarella, basil, oregano and remaining ⅛ tsp salt. Spoon the cheese-zucchini mixture into each baked tart shell in equal amounts.
- Top each tart with 1 slice of tomato.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 oz. of shredded parmesan cheese over each of the tarts in equal amounts.
- Bake the tarts, on a baking sheet, for 40 minutes or until the parmesan cheese is browned.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.