‘Tis the season to enjoy tomatoes every single day. We have five or six plants growing out in our garden and yet, I still feel the need to rush out to the farmers’ market and load up on whatever varieties look best. I simply can’t help myself! I use them in leafy green salads, or sliced with fat pieces of mozzarella and a good pour of extra virgin olive oil, hollowed out, stuffed with rice and baked, tossed with garlic, basil and oil and strewn over grilled country bread. Need I go on? Each and every day I look for new ways to make the best of the season’s bounty.
This tart was inspired by one I saw on my new favorite blog and by the ones I’ve tried from Sunday Suppers At Lucques-one of my favorite cookbooks. I do have a batch of homemade puff pastry in the freezer, but I opted to use pastry that I purchased as it was a smaller piece and would defrost a lot faster. The process of putting it together couldn’t be easier and the only thing that requires time is slow roasting the tomatoes.
Slow Roasted Tomato Tart
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
2 ounces of goat cheese
1/4 cup pesto (made with basil, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil)
handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
pinch of red pepper flakes
2-3 cups of fresh tomatoes, halved (use any combination you like-I used a mix of cherries and larger ones)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half and place them cut side down a baking sheet. Roast for 2 hours. If using cherry tomatoes, start checking after an hour-these will be finished sooner than larger ones and remove them from the oven. Remove the rest from oven and let cool. Turn up the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix together (I used a food processor) the pesto, red pepper flakes and the goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Defrost the puff pastry and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. With a paring knife, score a border around the edge, about 1/4″in from the edge. Whisk egg with a little bit of water and brush the border with the egg wash.
Prick the rest of the pastry with a fork. Spread the basil-cheese filling over the center of the pastry. Place roasted tomatoes cut side up over the top and then drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Put in preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes. The pastry should be deep golden brown. Remove from oven and top with torn basil and dust with a little grated parmesan cheese. Serves: 2-3 as an entree paired with a salad, or 6 as an appetizer.