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The Best of the Tomatoes: A Joyous Harvest Dinner by David Stark Design

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The Best of the Tomatoes: A Joyous Harvest Dinner by David Stark Design

September 14, 2018

We all should paint our dining rooms to match our gardens, especially during tomato season. That’s the first lesson I learned from this week’s beautiful harvest dinner envisioned by the team at David Stark Design.

But the real genius of the latest project we’re publishing from the Stark Design team is its simplicity. Tabletop tomatoes stacked like jewels, and a seasonal tart that requires no recipe to make? Suddenly the idea of an impromptu dinner party sounds irresistible. Who’s with me?

Photography by Corrie Beth Hogg courtesy of David Stark Design.

&#8\2\20;Just repurpose a plant from your patio garden as decor,&#8\2\2\1; recommends Stark. On the menu is a tomato galette from Colson Patisserie in Brooklyn.  And for a fitting tomato-red backdrop, the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore&#8\2\17;s Red Rock.
Above: “Just repurpose a plant from your patio garden as decor,” recommends Stark. On the menu is a tomato galette from Colson Patisserie in Brooklyn.  And for a fitting tomato-red backdrop, the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Red Rock.
Galettes in general are easy and fun to make because you don’t need to follow a recipe (I don’t).  Start by making pastry dough with flour and butter (and a tablespoon or two of ice water), and roll it out into a circle or circle-ish shape. Oit doesn’t need to be perfectly round because you’ll be crimping the edges.

Place the crust on parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit before assembling ingredients for the filling. I slice two or three ripe tomatoes thinly, tear basil leaves, grate cheese, and prepare anything else I want to  add (chopped black olives and thin slices of sautéed red onion make frequent cameo appearances).

Layer ingredients in the center of the dough, leaving a 1.5-inch border, and then turn up the edge of the crust and pinch it. After brushing the pinched edge with an egg wash, bake the galette for about an hour until it is golden and then let it cool for at least 10 minutes before sliding it onto a wooden cutting board to slice and serve.

Possibly the easiest centerpiece ever? Tomato towers are stacked casually amid Iron Candleholders (\$65 apiece) from Il Buco Vita and handcrafted Filigrana Tumblers (€\1\15 apiece) from Laguna B.
Above: Possibly the easiest centerpiece ever? Tomato towers are stacked casually amid Iron Candleholders ($65 apiece) from Il Buco Vita and handcrafted Filigrana Tumblers (€115 apiece) from Laguna B.
“When it’s the height of tomato season, it’s a crime to ignore the amazing bounty that farmers bring to local markets,” says NYC-based designer Stark. “It’s a no-brainer to create a complete dining menu utilizing the freshest options out there, too, but we also love to celebrate tomatoes as décor, their rich color and robust forms perfectly commanding the center of a dining table or as jewels, integrated into floral arrangements.”

Instead of heading to a florist for a tabletop arrangement, go to your local farmers&#8\2\17; market to find colorful tomatoes of all sizes and shapes.
Above: Instead of heading to a florist for a tabletop arrangement, go to your local farmers’ market to find colorful tomatoes of all sizes and shapes.

Tomato as muse, the starting point for the team at David Stark Design: “There is much to be inspired by when it comes to this humble fruit: the variety of rich color and shape—from pale yellow to rich purple, and every shade of red. From mini-currants to gigantic beefsteaks, these beauties are works of art on their own.”

Hand-glazed, molasses-colored Dinner Plates (\$4\2 apiece from East Fork Pottery) and burnt orange Bordered Linen Napkins (\$4\2 each from Il Buco Vita) add more colors to complement tomatoes. A Bandsaw Blade Steak Knife with a toasted maple handle is \$65 from M. Crow.
Above: Hand-glazed, molasses-colored Dinner Plates ($42 apiece from East Fork Pottery) and burnt orange Bordered Linen Napkins ($42 each from Il Buco Vita) add more colors to complement tomatoes. A Bandsaw Blade Steak Knife with a toasted maple handle is $65 from M. Crow.
“A visual dialogue between what you serve and the ‘look” of your table can take a dinner party or special celebration to a whole, new level, and these materials are inexpensive and readily available,” Stark says. “They simply need to be reframed as decorative in their own right.”

At each place is a menu written in gold gel pen on chocolate brown rice paper. (See below for a template you can use to recreate the look.)
Above: At each place is a menu written in gold gel pen on chocolate brown rice paper. (See below for a template you can use to recreate the look.)

Tomatoes and dahlias are happy companions on the sideboard, sitting next to Craft Advisory&#8\2\17;s Textured-Twist Tumblers in brown (\$54 each at Barney&#8\2\17;s).
Above: Tomatoes and dahlias are happy companions on the sideboard, sitting next to Craft Advisory’s Textured-Twist Tumblers in brown ($54 each at Barney’s).
“The glorious tomato! There is much to be inspired by when it comes to this humble fruit: the variety of rich color and shape—rom pale yellow to rich purple, and every shade of red,” says Stark. “From mini-currants to gigantic beefsteaks, these beauties are works of art on their own.”

Tomatoes in a rainbow of colors are displayed on a Unico Cutting Board (available in three sizes, from \$\175 to \$\275 depending on size) from Il Buco Vita.
Above: Tomatoes in a rainbow of colors are displayed on a Unico Cutting Board (available in three sizes, from $175 to $275 depending on size) from Il Buco Vita.
 Beefsteaks, plums, and cherries. If you&#8\2\17;re inspired to grow your own Solanum lycopersicum, start with tips from Tomatoes: A Field Guide to Planting, Care & Design.
Beefsteaks, plums, and cherries. If you’re inspired to grow your own Solanum lycopersicum, start with tips from Tomatoes: A Field Guide to Planting, Care & Design.

Menu Template:

tomato harvest dinner by David Stark Design by Corrie Beth Hogg

See more from David Stark Design at Tiny Bouquets: 8 Ideas for Floral Arrangements in Miniature Vases and read more about tomatoes:

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