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Keep all of your tools performing at their best.
This recipe has some of my favorite summer flavors, and can be adapted with other delicious vegetables. I found the recipe from the blog Baked Bree, although I’ve changed it a bit and added summer squash. At this time of year, there’s always plenty of summer squash in the garden, grocery store or farmers’ market.
In the garden, squash grows best in full sun and rich fertile soil. Amend your soil with plenty of organic matter, such as worm castings and compost, before planting. Wait until after your last frost date to plant seeds into the soil. If you must transplant seedlings, don’t disturb the roots when planting. Most squash grows on long vines, so I’ve left plenty of room for mine to grow among the flowers and vegetables.
Tomatoes always grow in our summer garden. Another sun- and heat-lover, tomatoes also like well amended soil. To reduce disease and pest problems, rotate your crops so you don’t grow tomatoes or family members like peppers, eggplants and potatoes in the same spot more than once during three years. Feed tomatoes with a fertilizer specified for this type of vegetable, so they receive the ideal amount of nutrients.
Other tips:Always mulch tomatoes so disease spores don’t splash up on stems. Avoid allowing tomatoes to go from drought situations to overwatering. Infrequent watering can lead to problems like blossom rot and cracking. Encourage beneficial insects in the garden, like lady bugs, which devour thousands of aphids in their lifetime.
A Garden-Fresh Harvest Tart
Whether the tomatoes, squash and herbs come from your garden or the market, make sure you use the freshest ingredients for this harvest tart. I was able to use fresh basil and thyme from my garden. My tomatoes weren’t ready in time, so I’m using ‘Vintage Wine’ and ‘Golden Jubilee’ from my local farmer.
In my garden, we’re growing summer squashes like ‘Golden Dawn’ squash from Renee’s Garden Seeds. The buttercup yellow fruits are delicate and nutty tasting. I imagine they’ll look a bit like the squash shown above, which I bought at my local farmers’ market.
Summer Harvest Tart Recipe
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoon of Dijon-style mustard
2 big onions, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon butter
3 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup of thinly sliced summer squash
1 tablespoon fresh thyme with flowers, if possible
½ cup of finely sliced fresh basil leaves
2 ounces feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Caramelize onions in butter over low heat, until they are brown and soft.
2) Carefully roll out defrosted sheet of puff pastry onto floured surface, using a well-floured rolling pin. Wait until dough is defrosted to unroll, but don’t let pastry dough get too warm.
3) Place puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4) Combine yogurt and mustard in a small bowl.
5) Spread mixture over the dough, and fold up edges to make a crust.
6) Top with sautéed onions and thyme.
7) Layer onions with sliced tomatoes and squash.
8) Add salt and pepper to the vegetables.
9) Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, until dough is golden brown.
10) Top with basil and feta.
11) Serve immediately. Puff pastry tastes best soon after it is baked, so don’t try to save any leftovers. Although I don’t think “leftovers” will be a problem in many households. This tart tastes too delicious. Enjoy!