My roasted tomato galette is a delicious savory tart, with a freeform cornmeal and fennel seed-flecked crust. Nestling slow-roasted tomatoes and a quick savoury spread – choice of two – this bake is a tweak on a sweet Food To Glow favourite – the fruit galette.
Word of advice: don’t be put off by the long instructions. It is a relatively easy make, just needing a bit of your time. But truthfully, not much attention. And I would highly recommend making a double recipe, if your food processor allows. One in each flavour. With perhaps some slivers or zucchini (below left), or lightly roasted cubes of eggplant bunged on for good measure. Like many of my recipes, I would love you to make it your own.
This roasted tomato galette is a vegetarian slow food recipe for lovers of deep umami flavours. If you manage to hold off demolishing the whole tart in one go, carefully pack a slice or two in your lunch box. You will instantly be the envy of your sandwich-nibbling co-workers. 🙂
An ode to the heirloom tomato
This recipe celebrates the unruly fruity glory that is the heirloom tomato. Ugly-beautiful and rather precious, these naturally-pollinated tomatoes are bred for taste rather than longevity. And that taste! Floral, savory, aromatic, complex: it’s no wonder that the scent turns up in fine perfumes and candles.
You may even find that the herbal-sweet aroma of slow roasting tomatoes is as intoxicating as the scent of any cake. I know it is for me. 🙂
The finest way to enjoy heirloom tomatoes – in my opinion – is warm off the vine, sliced onto a cool plate and lightly showered in flaky salt, with maybe a drizzle of grassy good olive oil. The second best – if I may be so bold – is this roasted tomato galette.
The heat of the oven concentrates the very essence of the tomatoes’ taste, filling the mouth with a kind of chewy tomato candy. How good does that sound? The texture and complex flavours of the roasted tomatoes marries exquisitely well with the fennel seed-scented, quite delicate crust. And of course with both of the intensely umami spreads.
Where to find the best tomatoes
If not homegrown (mine aren’t), check your local farmer’s market rather than Sainsbury’s or Publix. A chilly supermarket is not a heritage tomato’s friend. Or any tomato’s friend, for that matter. Leave them on a windowsill to eat on the day or, at a push, the next day. If making this or another roasted tomato recipe they can cope with one more day, so long as there are no blemishes to shorten their already-short lifespan.
As for myself, I have been picking up rather keenly-priced specimens in many sizes, shapes and colours from a nearby green grocer. Squashed, ribbed Marmande-types, smooth tiger-striped greens, perfectly round purples ones: they all have their own unique taste. Have a look at this lovely specialty produce website and trawl through the cute tomato names and delicious descriptions.
Often little “mom and pop” type shops are a cheaper option for heirloom – heritage – tomatoes than chi-chi farmer’s markets. Although with the latter you will be getting them direct from the grower. Having spent early summers on my grandparent’s Tennessee farm, I gravitate towards these lightly cultivated, natural varieties. Their short, sweet season is a time to rejoice. And a time to fleetingly embrace a taste of the past.
But you of course don’t need to make this soft-yet-crisp galette with fancy tomatoes, with their delicate nature. Use any that you know to have a good taste and aren’t too watery. Although I have a good technique for dealing with the delicious but pesky tomato water. More below. 🙂
How to make a Roasted Tomato Galette
Like I said in the intro, don’t be put off by the instructions. I have gone a bit overboard in describing the process, but it’s to reassure rather than frighten. Honest! I rarely make pastry but this one is my savory go-to. Rolling it out you may find that it cracks at the edges. Not being made entirely of finely milled wheat flour this is inevitable, but not a problem. Just as for pâte sucrée, patch the cracks and get on with the rest.
Make the dough and roast the tomatoes.
This is more or less hands off, but does take time. First off, pulse cold dough ingredients in a food processor until you get a pebbly dough. Then add the water and vinegar (vinegar is a magic ingredient in this kind of dough; although a top US baking site says not really). Then flatten into a disk and pop in the fridge to rest. Refrigerate at least half an hour, but an hour is even better. To be honest, 30 minutes is fine by me, although baking experts (hand not raised) might say otherwise.
For the tomatoes, slice them and lay on absorbent paper or a tea towel to drain away some of the liquid. Then place slices on oil-slicked, foil-lined trays, brushing with more oil then baking at a medium-ish heat for 45 minutes, adding the garlic and herb sprigs after a wee while. This timing should give you shrunken but soft tomatoes, somewhat sticky from the concentrated natural sugars. I like to roast more than I need just to eat off the tray, and perhaps to save for a quick bready snack. If you roast loads and loads, consider bottling them in best olive oil with a scalded sprig of thyme and bunging in the fridge to use over the next couple of weeks.
The flavour bombs
While the tomatoes are roasting and the dough is resting, make whichever of the flavoured spreads that takes your fancy. My fave is the rose harissa mixed with date syrup (or use honey) and ketchup (add preserved lemon pieces if desired). Andrew’s is the black olive tapenade mixed with chopped preserved lemon. Both are two/three-ingredient flavour bombs. Try them in other dishes, too.
Putting it together
Once the dough and tomatoes are sorted, it’s time to roll out the dough. Liberally flour your work surface and roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thick. It is slightly crumbly to roll out so don’t fret when it inevitably cracks. This is a rustic galette and its cracks and imperfections are part of it beauty. 🙂 Roll half of the dough loosely onto the rolling pin then unfurl onto a baking paper-lined tray. Spread your flavour bomb over the surface, thinning it out towards the edges. Add on the roasted garlic slices, sliced raw shallot pieces and tomatoes, leaving a gap at the edges. Push the edges up and over the filling so that much of the tomato is still showing.
At this point, don’t be tempted to neaten it up: the baked craggy bits taste the best – true! Brush with egg and refrigerate before baking. Refrigerating helps to ensure a crisp rather than soggy crust. You start at a higher temp to burnish the crust, then turn down the dial to finish baking but not burn. Then it’s a testing time of waiting to cool a bit then slice up to serve with the suggested ricotta dip and chopped herbs.
If you really don’t fancy making the dough, use quality puff pastry, being sure to dock it all around with a fork to reduce puffiness.
Use semi-dried tomatoes in oil instead of home-roasted. I’ve not tried this but I imagine it would be delicious. Definitely add herbs to perk it up though.
Use best-quality prepared tapenade or harissa.
To make a softer, more pliant, dough don’t use the cornmeal and possibly replace oats with more flour. (images are a combination of cornmeal dough and non-cornmeal dough)
Use a good, solid non-dairy block ‘butter’ to make this wholly vegan. Naturli’ is my go-to vegan butter brand.
Try red pesto if the heat of harissa doesn’t appeal (although it is massively tempered in this recipe)
Add lightly roasted eggplant pieces or thin slivers of zucchini and broccoli stem
Add thin coins of cooked potato for a carby treat!
What else might you add?
**If you fancy making your own harissa, try my rose harissa one. I have made it many times over the years, as have others. It is a bung-it-in-the-blender recipe and is incredibly delicious. Better than any of bought ones that I’ve tried.**
More savory baking on Food To Glow!
Broccoli, Cheese and Sweet Potato Gözleme
Wild Greens, Chickpea and Feta-Ricotta Börek
Goat’s Cheese, Chard and Walnut Strudel with Tomato Fondue Dip
Porcini Mushroom Stroganoff Strudels
Mediterranean Vegetable and Halloumi Galette (made with phyllo)
Moroccan Kale, Carrot and Hummus Tart
and more in my Recipe Index, under “Baking, Savoury”
Roasted Tomato Galette Two Ways
A delicious savory tart with a freeform crust, nestling roasted tomatoes and a quick savoury spread - choice of two! Don't be put off by the long instructions as it is relatively easy, but just needing a bit of time. A slow food recipe for lovers of deep umami flavours. Makes wonderful leftovers in a lunch box.
- 70 g wholemeal flour cold
- 70 g plain flour cold; I use plain spelt
- 50 g oat flour cold; I make mine in my blender
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds optional
- 1 tbsp cornmeal cold; or fine polenta
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100 g butter cubed and cold; organic preferred
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp ice-cold water
- 1 small egg beaten (to glaze later in the process)
- 800 g best tomatoes not too small
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig thyme
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided use
- 1 long shallot sliced; optional
Preserved Lemon Tapenade
- 3 tbsp black olive tapenade
- 1/2 preserved lemon finely minced
Sweet Harissa Paste
- 125 g ricotta
- 3 tbsp black olive tapenade
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- zest of half a lemon
- fresh thyme leaves and minced rosemary leaves optional, to serve
Making the Dough
Toast the fennel seeds, if using, in a small pan until fragrant. Cool briefly then pound with a pestle and mortar or spice mill to a rough powder. It will smell amazing!
As you will see above, the dough ingredients should be cold. Just pop them in the fridge for 15 minutes and that should do. Now place the flours, butter, salt and fennel seeds in the food processor bowl and pulse until it is broken down into small "pebbles". It should not be over-processed to a smooth paste. Combine the ice water and vinegar in a small cup, and slowly add through the tube of your food processor while the processor is on. Keep the machine on just until the dough balls up to one side. A few stray bits may be in the bowl, but it should be a cohesive dough overall.
Pull the dough from the processor and shape into a fat, flattish disk or rough rectangle on a piece of parchment paper or cling film wrap. Pull up and tuck the edges to fully enclose; place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Or the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roasting the Tomatoes
Heat the oven to 160C fan/180C/350F. Make sure to have two racks to hold two trays of tomatoes.
Slice the tomatoes about 1/2 inch thick and lay on a couple of layers of paper towel, or on a double layer of tea towels. Cover with more towelling and press lightly. This will remove some of the liquid and speed up the roasting. You can skip this bit and leave the tomatoes to roast for an hour instead. I've not noticed a flavour difference in blotting the tomatoes of some of their tasty liquid.
Line a couple of baking trays with lightly crumpled foil (baking paper doesn't work as well but is more environmentally friendly) and slick with a little of the oil. Lay on the tomatoes and brush with oil. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. While the tomatoes are roasting mix the remaining oil, separately, into the garlic and shallots. After 15 minutes add the oiled garlic and the herb sprigs to one of the trays.
While the tomatoes are roasting and the dough is resting, make your savoury spread of choice. Mix together your chosen ingredients and set aside. If you are having the ricotta dip, make this now by mixing everything up and popping in the fridge.
Putting it together
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Roll out evenly on a clean, flour-dusted (I use more cornmeal) work surface to your desired shape, but about 12-inch diameter/ 1/4 inch thick. It may crack so just patch it with other bits that will be sticking out. Loosely roll half of the dough onto your rolling pin (it may need assistance from a cake lifter thingy) and drape the dough fully onto a baking paper-lined tray.
Spread the savoury spread of your choice across the dough, with only a bit near the edges. Add on most of the roasted garlic pieces (don't worry about the herbs, they flavoured the garlic and are now optional), all of the shallot pieces and lay on the roasted tomatoes, leaving a gap near the edges. Top with any random bits of roasted garlic. Fold the edges of the naked dough up over the outer quarter of the tomatoes (see images). Brush with beaten egg and return to the refrigerator for 15 minutes. It should look rustic, not perfect!
Turn up the oven temperature to 200C fan/220C/425 F.
Once chilled, bake the galette in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 160C fan/180C/ 350F and bake a further 20 minutes, lightly covering with foil if necessary to keep it from browning too quickly.
Pull from the oven and cool slightly or to room temperature before cutting into 6 slices and serving with salads and Ricotta Dip. Garnish with extra herbs.
The nutritional information is for one slice, but a typical serving would be two slices.
This galette makes delicious leftovers. It can be stored in an air-tight container at cool room temperature for couple of days. It is a great addition to a packed lunch or picnic as it tastes just as good warm or room temperature.
Feel free to add other vegetables, such as thinly cut zucchini, cubes of eggplant (lightly pre-cooked), thinly sliced broccoli, even par-cooked slices of new potato.
To make a softer, more pliant, dough don't use the cornmeal and replace the oats with more flour.
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13 thoughts on “Roasted Heirloom Tomato Galette with Heavenly Fennel Seed and Cornmeal Crust”
This is the finest savoury delight – brilliant
This looks truly delicious!
Beautiful galette, especially because it is so versatile.
Indeed! I”m thinking a red onion chutney and tomato version, with black onion seeds, might be a nice autumn version 🙂
Sounds yummy – so creative!
it looks very tasty. i just love the flavor of tomato. definitely try this roasted tomato galette on my weekends.
Hi Kellie! This looks delicious! BUT I have a whole bunch of grape/cherry tomatoes with me from farmer’s market this weekend! I am wondering if I could make this with those instead? And add some zucchini too maybe? Would love to know what you think!
Hi Juhi. Yes you could but the skins might be more pronounced than with the larger sliced ones. You could make it with the halved cherry tomatoes cut-side up and not pre-roast them. It won’t have the same intensity of flavour perhaps, but the skins won’t be so tough either. And yes to zucchini. I showed it that one on my Instagram story and I think it’s mentioned as a suggestion earlier in the post. I really hope you like it! Tastes good as leftovers, too. 😊
Ooh I love your description of ‘flavour bombs’ and ‘chewy tomato candy’ and reading through the method and ingredients I can see why it’s so flavoursome. This sounds absolutely wonderful and I look forward to making it…and I cant imagine a single bite would be left for the next days lunch box!
When you have sun dried tomatoes…you never go back. Especially in the winter. The flavour reminds me of summer days when you first made these delicious tomatoes. I always have them around frozen and in the frig..
This was a lovely recipe Kellie! I doubled it so we’d have leftovers and I’m so glad I did! I used both the ricotta and harissa sauces. I couldn’t choose just one and I think they compliment each other nicely. You probably know Kite Hill – they make a great almond ricotta and I used it here. Thanks for another creative and inspired recipe!
Like nothing i’ve ever tasted before: super savoury but also sweetness from the tomatoes. The pastry is sublime – way to go food to glow!