27 September 2012
The cherry tomatoes just keep on coming! This was my first year planting them and I had no idea how much those few tiny plants were going to produce. Of course, they're wonderful in soups, salads and pasta; but there's nothing quite like a tomato tart. It might look a bit fancy, but to me it's just comfort food. A larger slice makes a lovely first course, tiny slices make great HDs (hors d'oeuvre) or afternoon tea savories.
I've made the tart with filo and pie dough as well, both delicious; but using frozen puff pastry makes it really easy (It's been ages since I've made homemade puff pastry--I'm not so averse to time-saving measures as I once was!). I usually make the tart with sliced medium-sized tomatoes, but this year I grew cherry tomatoes instead.
My tomato tart makes even bland store-bought tomatoes taste the way they should, so don't feel you needn't bother if you're not a gardener. This time I made the tart with raw tomatoes, but if you have the time, giving them a bit of a roast beforehand takes out some of the moisture and intensifies the flavor.
Just preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Rub some olive oil on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and place the tomato halves cut side up; cut side down, they will go from roasting nicely to stuck to the foil in the blink of an eye. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast about 30 minutes, remove from the oven and cool slightly.
What do you do with a bumper crop of tomatoes?
(Makes one 10x10-inch tart)
1 sheet (1/2 package) frozen puff pastry
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
2-3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
3 scallions (white & light green part only), thinly sliced
1/4 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced (chiffonade)
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 Thaw pastry at room temperature for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In small pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute shallot; cool. Measure Parmesan. Prep tomatoes, scallions, parsley and basil.
2 Gently unfold pastry on lightly floured 12-inch square of parchment paper, roll out pastry to 11-inch square. Trim edges to make 10-inch square. Transfer pastry on parchment to an ungreased 17x11x1-inch baking sheet. Score edge at 1/2 inch; prick pastry thoroughly with a fork inside the scored edge.
3 Spread shallot and oil over pastry. Sprinkle Parmesan over pastry. Combine scallions, basil, parsley, 1 tablespoon olive oil, pinch of salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; scatter evenly over tart inside the scored edge. Place cherry tomato halves, cut side up, on tart; sprinkle with a pinch of salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
4 Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crust is golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before *cutting and serving. Cut into 4 pieces for a lunch serving, 8 for a first course serving, or into small squares for an hors d'oeuvre or afternoon tea savory. Serve warm or at room temperature.
* I've used the OXO Good Grips Pizza Wheel for Non-Stick Pans for years on this as well as pizza, and it cuts like a dream!