Chili Cornmeal Tart

Mar 1, 2015

10444610_665976473492110_6145869260193880549_nThis hearty dish has been a staple in my cooking for over a year, so I was surprised when a friend asked me for the recipe and I wanted to direct her here, only to realize I hadn’t done a post about it. Like so many of my favorite dishes, this is just a slight variation on a recipe from the Chef’s on the Farm cookbook from Quillisascut Farm School. I do the crust with whole wheat flour because I like the texture and I use greek yogurt instead of sour cream to cut back a bit on the dairy fat. The tart is listed in the summer section of the cookbook, as it should be with its peppers, tomatoes and sweet corn at the peak of freshness in the hottest months. Yet, the comfort food feel of the crunchy crust and cheesy interior lend it just as much to a cool, rainy day. I found the perfect happy medium the other day since Seattle unseasonable rain and highs in the upper fifties. I still had the warm summer produce, but I also had the kind of cozy feeling that makes this tart even more of a treat.

Serves 4-6.


2½ cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons sea salt
Fresh corn kernels cut from one ear of corn (about 1 cup)
5 Tbs. unsalted butter
½ cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)

Crust directions:
Blitz dry ingredients (including corn) in a food processor or mix with a wooden spoon. If using a food processor, add in butter and blitz until incorporated, then add in yogurt and pulse until dough comes together. If not using a food processor, cut in butter by hand, then mix in yogurt. Either way, form dough into a ball and chill in fridge at least 30 minutes before using.




5 medium poblano or pasilla peppers
5 medium heirloom tomatoes or 2 cups cherry tomatoes (sungolds work best!)
5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
½ teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Begin by roasting the peppers. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet coated with olive oil and roast at 400º F. for about an hour, turning over once. You can do this before you make the crust. In the meantime, thinly slice large tomatoes or slice cherry tomatoes in half and let sit in a shallow bowl sprinkled with salt. Once the peppers are done. Take them out and let them cool for about 20 minutes. Then slowly remove the skin while running them under water and open them to remove the seeds and stem. Thinly slice and place in a bowl. Finely chop garlic and mix peppers with garlic, lemon juice, basil, oregano, oil oil and salt and pepper.

Once fillings and crust are done, preheat oven to 350º F. and roll crust to ¹⁄₈-inch thickness. Drape into an 8-inch round pie pan (crust will be much bigger than pan) and begin by adding a layer of cheese on the bottom. Follow with a layer of the pepper mixture (using half the mixture) and a layer of tomatoes (make sure you drain the salty water from the tomatoes first). Add another layer of cheese, the other half of the peppers and the rest of the tomatoes and, finally, a topping of cheese. Fold the crust that is spreading over the edge of the pie dish over the filling, creating a crostada-like tart with a small opening on top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until crust is beginning to brown and cheese is bubbly.


Chili Cornmeal Tart_Laura Derr




Read about Laura Derr and Laura’s Mobile Kitchen in her interview with Hometown Pasadena in “Creative Types.” Her business, recipes, and observations may be viewed at

Try Laura’s other recipes:
Beet Cabbage Slaw with Lime Dressing
Gluten Free Chocolate Raisin Muffins
Weekend Frittata

Savory Potato Bacon Tart
Blanched Vegetables with Garlic-Thyme Aioli
Potato Leek Beet Soup
Strawberry Port Ice Cream
Honey Wheat Flatbreads & Eggplant Walnut Dip
Simple Vibrant Summer Salad
Summer Quinoa with Watermelon & Lime

Lemon Curd Berry Tart
Curried Veggie Stew
Creamy Spiced Oatmeal with Pumpkin Seeds
Coq au Vin with Whole Grain Mustard & Onions




Photo of basil: Paul Goyette ( [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo of corn: Darwin Bell [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons



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