I met my girlfriends for lunch today and I was in charge of the appetizers. I decided that I wanted to make something easy, using ingredients that I had in the house. First I made a small batch of tapenade (olive spread)-using nicoise olives, capers, a little anchovy paste and also a little tomato paste-whirred around in mini cuisinart chopper (I was too lazy to do by hand, although I do like the chunkier texture that you get that way) with some extra virgin olive oil.
I knew that I wanted to make some kind of tomato tart and I just love the shape a rectangular tart pan. This is super easy and you can vary the filling depending what you have in the kitchen. I try to always keep a box of frozen puff pastry on hand on the freezer. It’s great for appetizers, desserts, topping for pot pies, whatever!
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (box usually contains 2)
1 large onion, sliced thinly
4 tablespoons olive oil
5 sprigs fresh thyme
salt & fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1/2 cup crumpled gorgonzola cheese
12 large cherry tomatoes, halved
Heat large saute pan with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add onion, salt, pepper and 3 sprigs thyme leaves. Cover onions with aluminum foil and cover and turn heat to low. Saute onions for about 20 minutes on low heat.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix tomato halves with 1 tablespoon oil and salt and pepper. Place tomatoes, cut side down on baking sheet and cook in oven for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and slip skin off tomato halves. Discard skin and reserve tomatoes. Roll puff pastry sheet out on floured board to fit whatever tart pan you use-mine was about 14″ x 4′. You could probably use a 9″ round pan also. place dough in pan, being careful not to stretch dough too much. Whisk egg and cream together. Spread sauteed onions in bottom of pan. Pour egg mixture over onions and crumble cheese over .
Line up tomato halves over filling, cut side down. Sprinkle 2 sprigs thyme over filling. Place tart pan on baking sheet and bake in middle of oven for about 25-30 minutes, until filling is cooked. Cool on rack in pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Serves 6 as an appetizer, 4 for lunch served with a green salad.
P.S. Now that I’ve eaten the tart (it was good), I think it would be better to pre-cook the crust a little-about 10 minutes-cool slightly and then fill and bake.