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This Rustic Manchego and Heirloom Tomato Crostata is delicious and perfectly picnic-worthy. It’s made with a buttery, flaky cornmeal-thyme crust and drizzled with garlic-infused olive oil. PLUS: Tips on how to pack the perfect picnic!
We are in the thick of summer, and that can mean a lot of things. Sunny days, vacations, beaches, pool time, berry picking, family outings, and, one of my favorites: picnics.
I am a picnic and tailgating enthusiast. I love it. Friends, finger foods, wine, fresh air.
I’m always teased that I like to make everything extra fancy. I do like to up my picnic game, it’s true. But I still like to keep things simple enough where seasonal ingredients and the delicious food shine through.
And it really doesn’t take much to think outside the turkey-sandwich-in-a-Ziploc box. There are plenty of ways to create a more sophisticated picnic or tailgating experience that will have your friends ooh-ing and aah-ing.
Think seasonal: bright heirloom tomatoes, fresh berries or peaches, radishes with butter and sea salt (a French favorite), seasonal veggies. Then, get a little artisanal: freshly baked bread, quality meats, gorgeous cheeses, truffles and chocolates. Next, add in something handmade (such as this savory crostata). Last, but not least: Add wine.
Here’s a Pin-able graphic I made on how I pack the perfect picnic:
I’ve teamed up with Stacked Wines to bring you some picnic-worthy fare and share how amazing their wines are for this reason. I love these wines for picnics and tailgates. They come in a stack-able package of four, each with their own lid. The single-serve wines are perfectly portable. There’s no need for cups. No need for corkscrews. No fuss!
I paired my heirloom tomato crostata with the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon stacked wines. Such a good pairing.
And this crostata. Oh, this crostata. A crostata (or a gallete) is what I like to call a “lazy man’s pie.” It’s a rustic, free-formed tart with a flaky, buttery crust. Best part? No pie pans are needed. No special equipment, either. (Except a rolling pin.)
You can make crostatas sweet or savory. I came up with this combination because I really wanted to use my heirloom tomatoes. I also really wanted to include Manchego, because it’s my favorite cheese. And I wanted the crust to have texture to balance everything out, which is why I included a medium-ground cornmeal.
Then, add in some fresh thyme and parsley, a garlic-infused olive oil, and some sharp Dijon mustard, and you’ve achieved savory crostata bliss. This tart is really good, and so perfect for an elegant picnic.
Then, pack up your picnic and enjoy this tart with some Stacked Wines! I packed a simple picnic of fresh fruit, jalapeno marinated goat cheese, crackers, radishes with sea salt + butter, and lemon hummus with veggies. Perfect.
I hope you enjoy this crostata and plenty of summer picnics and tailgating adventures to come! To learn even more about Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and Stacked Wines (and grab some great entertaining ideas) you can visit Woodbridge on Facebook and the Simple Entertaining Social Hub.
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup medium-ground cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons ice water
- 4-5 heirloom tomatoes of varying size
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 cup shredded Manchego cheese (from about a 6 ounce wedge)
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh parsley
- Sea salt and pepper
- Egg wash
- Make the crostata crust the same way you would a pie crust. Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, and dried thyme in a food processor. Chop very cold butter into small cubes, and add into the food processor, pulsing, until the crumbs resemble the size of large peas.
- Then, add the olive oil and 4 tablespoons of ice cold water and pulse until the dough just comes together. Do not over-mix. If the dough needs more water, add it one tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Form into a flattened disk and wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
- In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small pan and caramelize 3 garlic cloves until brown and softened over low heat. Be sure to keep the heat low to avoid oil splatters and get an even brown. Once the garlic is caramelized, remove the pan from the heat and let the garlic sit to infuse the oil for an hour.
- Slice the heirloom tomatoes into thin slices. Arrange them on single layers on double-layered paper towels to drain. Cover the tomato slices with another double-layer of paper towels and let them drain very well while you move on to the next steps.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and let sit at room temperature a few minutes to soften. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Roll the dough out into a 14 inch circle on a piece of floured parchment paper. It does not have to be perfect and the edges should be rustic. Turn often to avoid sticking, flouring as necessary. Transfer the dough and parchment onto a baking sheet. If the dough is too soft, place in the fridge for ten minutes.
- Spoon out the garlic cloves and finely chop them, reserving the garlic oil.
- Spread the Dijon mustard in an even layer on the crostata, leaving a 1" border around the edges.
- Then, evenly sprinkle the chopped garlic on top. On top of that, evenly sprinkle the shredded Manchego cheese.
- Then, circle the tomatoes on top of the cheese, starting with the largest tomatoes around the outer edges. Overlap the tomatoes in an attractive pattern.
- Carefully fold the outer edge over the tomatoes, forming a rustic free-form pie. If the dough starts to break a little, just pinch it together. (No worries, this is rustic)
- Egg wash the dough edges and then sprinkle evenly with sea salt and dried thyme. Brush some of the garlic oil over the tomatoes.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the tomatoes are bubbly.
- Remove crostata and let cool completely before slicing (about 30-40 minutes). Brush the tomatoes with the additional garlic oil and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, fresh thyme, and fresh parsley.
- Serve right away, at room temperature, or warmed in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.