“Umami” is an anglizised Japanese expression for “delicious taste” coined by the Japanese chemist kikunae Ikeda who discovered that foods such as sea weed and tomatoes with a high content of monosodium glutamate were particularly palatable to the human taste.
When we eat soy sauce, fried or grilled tomatoes, aged cheeses and cooked mushrooms, our taste buds perceive a rich and savoury taste that gives these foods that distinctive attractiveness that makes us “want more”.
That’s one of the reasons why we can’t resist to a good pizza, because is packed with all natural umami flavours that are irresistible to both our brain-taste receptors and our taste buds.
And that is the reason why you will be scientifically bound to *love* my cheese and tomato tart. Not only is a time saver dish, you can enjoy it hot or cold, since it makes a great lunch box treat.
To make a tart to feed 4 to 5 people (with second helpings) you will need:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 125g butter, chilled, chopped
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbs chilled water
- 2 big tomatoes thinly sliced (Brandywine is a common big round variety)
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup of ricotta cheese*
- Salt & pepper
In a bowl rub the ingredients with your fingers until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
Try not to warm up the butter or the pastry will become doughy.
Add the chilled water and egg yolk, continue mixing until you form a firm dough.
Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes to relax the gluten.
Let the dough slowly warm up for 10 minutes.