Monday, July 14

Under The Pergola IV: A French-inspired tomato tart and some tabletop tips gleaned from the Hampton Designer Showhouse

Under The Pergola Post IV:
We had a fun weekend.  First, we stopped into the East Hampton Springs Farmer's Market on Saturday to pick up fresh, locally grown produce.  Then off to FISH FARM to take photos then onto Louse Point for fishing/crabbing. Later, we headed home for a quick swim, and an easy dinner -- a combination of grilled teriyaki sirloin steak we had marinated that morning, eggplant and garlic pasta, a garden fresh arugula salad, and all brought together with fresh, homemade tomato tarts, just like the ones we tasted in Paris a few summers ago.  The crust was light and crispy and we roasted the tomatoes first until they were dark in color.  I roasted them on a cookie sheet and took some of the juices and seeds out first so they were not watery.
These locally grown tomatoes once sliced and roasted with fresh herbs and sea salt on top pack lots of flavor.
We are still waiting patiently for our own home growned tomatoes to bloom, 
but we hand picked the basil from our patio garden.
Cooking tip:
Whether you have a full green yard or a small terrace or simply a window by the sink, you can grow fresh herbs in the summer.  Pot fresh rosemary, basil, lavendar, tarragon and mint and you have instant summer flavors every meal. Remember, herbs like a dry soil so don't over water! Pot them in pretty and interesting containers and they are gorgeous and fragrant.
I picked up both red and white wine for our meal.  I poured water straight from our tap, and chilled it in the fridge in the SOMA filtered water carafe and filter, and just added some lemon slices, delicious! Soma gifted me this lovely carafe and filter, which my family loves and for $59. this Soma Carafe + 2 month filter supply gives you fresh drinking water.  An added bonus is that every filter purchased, Soma makes a donation to Charity Water!
no more bottled water, and all that plastic bottle waste gone when using Soma...
We had some picky eaters as guests this weekend, and a vegetarian amongst us as well so we put together a cornucopia of different foods and something for everyone's taste, some steak for the meat eaters, a vegetable pasta and salad and then of course this tomato tart -- I roasted eggplant and garlic with olive oil and added it pasta.  
The tomato tart was the star this Saturday evening!
Okay, I admit I cheated and used store bought puff pastry, but I have a life!  
With a house filled with guests, everyone heading in different directions I wanted to make a great meal and by picking up the store bought puff pastry in the freezer section, I was able to stay out of the kitchen most of the day. Once left out on the counter for an hour and at  room temperature, the puff pastry is easy to stretch onto a cookie sheet.  I cooked it for a few minutes at 350 degrees first then add the roasted herb tomatoes on top and cooked until golden brown, topping with fresh parmigiana cheese and slivers of basil the last five minutes it cooks.  
Gabby whipped together one of the most delicious salads I have had in a long time.  It had arugula, olives (Greek without pits), croutons (homemade by us), chia seeds, avocado, green apple (with the skin left on) and a lemon/balsamic and olive oil combination dressing.  The salad balanced perfectly well with the other items on our menu.  
table designed by Sean Bruns and Judy Haclock for Mecox Design Services

Table Decorating tips:
While this is not my own set table, I just returned from the sneak preview of the Hampton Designer Showhouse and loved, loved the dining room design by local Hampton designers Sean Bruns and Judy Hadlock in conjunction with Mecox Gardens.  My story about the room will be featured in Dan's Papers magazine this upcoming weekend.  They set this table with a combination of vintage and new Lenox china and glassware plus Dansk utensils.  I love the succulents as the centerpiece and they are my new favorites to add to a dinner table - sometimes I bring my potted succulents from outside as a pretty summer table decorating idea. My take away on this is almost anything can become a cool napkin ring  from ribbon to beach bracelets.  A subtle color palette like this is soothing and the layered, various plates makes for an interesting look.
check out this gorgeous dining room at the Hampton Designer Showhouse on Pauls Lane in Bridgehampton until Labor Day!
Tamara's Easy French Tomato Tart
This tart goes especially well with grilled fish and a salad but tonight it was a few different items, all delcious.  I plan to make it often all summer long and when buying the ready made pastry dough and keeping it in my freezer for back-from-the-beach-dinners it is a snap to whip up.  
4 large ripe locally grown Long Island tomatoes and 12 small cherry tomatoes (cut them in half and squeeze the seeds out of them).   Roasted in the oven on 450 degrees with dry herbs - rosemary, lavendar, oregano until golden brown.
6 leaves of fresh basil (cut with a scissor into strips)
a heavy sprinkle of parmigiana cheese
a heavy sprinkle of olive oil
one package of puff pastry
cut and roast the tomatoes - set aside on a plate
cook the tart half way - you may have to press down the center several times as it may rise a bit.  Add the tomato/herb mixture on top of the tart
sprinkle with parmigiana cheese, olive oil and cut fresh basil
cook until crispy golden brown and serve on a pretty plate.
for all these beautiful sites in the East End please follow hashtag on Twitter/Instagram #UNhamptons

Buon Appetite!
Happy Nesting 
XO Tamara