Thursday, October 14, 2010

Double Takes: Herbed Tomato Tart

This recipe was chosen, in part, due to the fabulous job Bon Appetit did in the summer with their Tomato Tart Tartin. (Sadly I have yet to make it but it is on my list.) I decided I could overlook my typical aversion to puff pastry and give the recipe a try. When I checked out the herb listing, I was delighted to obseve that I was growing 3 out of the 4 herbs already. I love using recipes that call for herbs I can pick by stepping into the backyard. I did have to be choosy about the tomato, as we're nearing the end of the season. The farmer's market I frequent was closed due to the fair so I chose vine ripened tomatoes that had strong tomato smells before they were cut. Given a choice, I prefer home grown or farmer's market but sometimes that's not an option and these were pretty good.

Recipe (adapted from the All New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook)

1 pkg. (17.3 oz) frozen puff pastry, thawed (Sit it out of the freezer for 40 minutes. Don't shortcut with the microwave. Puff pastry is different from Phyllo.)
4 medium sized vine ripened tomatoes
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 8 oz pkg shredded mozzarella
1 4 oz pkg crumbled feta
1/4 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. finely chopped mixed herbs (I used 10-15 rosemary leaves, 6-10 basil leaves, ~20 parsley leaves, and 8-10 chives)
freshly ground pepper (It really is better than the preground version.)
1 Tbsp olive oil (I use Greek extra virgin olive oil. Pick what you like.)

How To:

Start by preheating your oven to 400 F. There are many ways to use your pastry. I'd say, use the pan size you have. If you haven't microwaved your pastry, you can unroll it by hand and lay it on a cookie sheet. Then cut sides down from the second sheet to build a second layer of puff pastry along the border of your pastry rectangle. Remaining pastry can be used to make a baby version. If you happened to microwave your pastry for 20-30 seconds, do not despair. Its no problem. Grab your handy rolling pin and dust it with a little flour. Gently roll the puff pastry to the size you want for your pan. Then roll out the second piece and slice border sections for your first sheet. You can wet the bits of dough you are using for a second layer with a little water before setting it on top if you want. This could help it stick together bettter but may not be necessary. I wet mine, just in case. I had leftover dough so Heather and I made a baby tart too. It made both of us happy.

Puff Pastry Assembled

Poke the puff pastry in the oven for about 10- 15 minutes or until it starts to puff and get a little crispy. Don't wait til its brown because you still need to bake it again. While the puff pastry bakes, slice your tomatos into 1/4" slices. Sprinkle the tomatoes with your kosher salt. Let the tomato slices sit and absorb the salt for 10-20 minutes. Use this time to prepare your herbs.

After your puff pastry has had chance to cool for 5 minutes, start loading it with your goodies. Begin by sprinkling the crust with the mozzarella, followed by the feta. Then, place your tomatoes. We spaced ours out and had some left over for the large tart. Heather piled them up on the baby tart and she was very happy with that. Finally, sprinkle your onions, cloves, herbs and black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes.

Prepped and ready to bake!

By the time the cheese is melted, its ready to eat. This makes 4 servings.

Baby Tart

Full Sized Tart

Our Review:

My friend Heather and I gave these two thumbs up! We were pleased that 1) puff pastry was pretty easy to use 2) it tasted and smelled awesome. To describe the smell, I'd have to say it was garlic melding with rosemary and chives with the taste of freshness from parsley. It was delicious. I didn't know that (essentially a tomato pizza) could possibly taste so good

Pop over to Mel's blog to see her version of Herbed Tomato Tart!


  1. You were much better at following directions for this recipe than I was. I was too lazy to even roll out the dough! I'm glad you liked it as much as we did :)

  2. @ Rebecca: Thanks!
    @ Mel: Did you notice I quadrupled the garlic?