Wednesday, June 24, 2009


As summer presses on, the variety of fruits and vegetables at the farmers markets grows: baskets of delicate beans, pints of sweet and tangy berries, crates of fragrant tomatoes.

From summer to summer I forget how suddenly summer produce appears at the market. One Saturday there seems to be nothing but asparagus and spring onions, and the next week the market is overflowing with summer vegetables and fruits. The first Saturday this happens, I tend to get carried away and always buy too much; I get home and find myself wondering what I’m going to do all those tomatoes and zucchini.

Then I remember: tarts.

Tarts, both savory and sweet, are perfect for enjoying almost any summer fruit or vegetable. They are practical: they can be served for any meal—breakfast, lunch, dinner—and can be served warm or at room temperature. They are very inexpensive to prepare, sometimes only a few cents per serving, especially if you make your own crust. And, they are authentic—tarts, and their rustic cousin, galettes originated in France, and while they may vary from region to region, the name usually refers to a delicious, crusty, round or hand-formed cake.

I thought it might be fun to do a series on tarts, one of my favorite ways to enjoy summer fruits and veggies. On Thursday and Friday we'll consider pastry and tart shapes, on Saturday we'll visit the farmers market to see what's available, and next week I'll share some of my favorite recipes. I'm hoping you'll share yours, too.

Tomorrow's post: Pâte brisée


  1. I don't think Americans eat enough tarts or savory pies. My farmer's market has a vendor who sells fantastic savory tarts and turnovers and pies. It's all I can do not to buy one of each every time I"m there.

  2. I have never made a tarte...sad! I look forward to this series.

  3. I've been looking for some different foods I can make for our dinners this summer and your description of tarts sound like they may be just the thing.

    Bring 'em on!

  4. After picking my own strawberries last week, and making my own jam, I am really into getting the freshest product possible. It makes a big difference.

    The Farmers Markets in my area just started opening.

    I can't wait to try some of your recipes

  5. i love tarts but haven't made them. i'm looking forward to your recipes!

  6. What a great idea. I'm glad you're doing this. In San Francisco this past week, I had a great savory crust at my favorite little boulangerie, and I have their cookbook here at home. This post is a great reminder that I wanted to see if it contained the recipe.

    I love getting more vegetables into my diet in yummy ways.