Heirloom Tomato Tart
July 31, 2017 by Nicole Collins
Today's recipe was not on the agenda for me at all this week.
But, I was SOOOO inspired by the Farmer's Market this weekend, I just couldn't help myself! Don't you love it when that happens?
On about Thursday of last week, I decided that I just had to visit the Farmer's Market over the weekend. All last week, there was a “buy local” challenge on Instagram, so a lot of the local markets and people that I follow had been posting pics of gorgeous eggplants, and tomatoes, and peaches, and all kinds of other beautiful produce all week. I needed to get in on it.
The problem, though, was that it was scheduled to rain allllllll day on Saturday, which is the day I wanted to go. It POURED most of the day on Friday, so I was sure there was no way the rain was going to clear out by Saturday morning. I really just wanted some of those eggplants that first caught my eye, so I was starting to accept that the eggplant was coming from the grocery store this week.
But then, at 6:30am Saturday morning, I awoke to birds chirping outside of my window. They were singing “get up lady! It's not raining!”
At least, that's what I assume they were singing.
Either way, this lady got up, because it wasn't raining!
So, as I was perusing the market looking for the perfect eggplants, I stumbled upon the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes I'd ever seen!
Mostly, because they were the only heirloom tomatoes I'd ever seen before...in real life.
I've just never been lucky enough to encounter heirloom tomatoes before. My local grocery stores don't sell them. And this year is the first year that I've really even been tuned in to the Farmer's Market circuit. (I know. It's embarrassing.) The few markets I've been to this season haven't had any. And this particular farmer that I stumbled upon today was the only one there that even had any heirloom tomatoes.
The birds may not have been singing to me this morning, but those tomatoes certainly were! That's what the farmer said to me, actually. She told me I'd know which carton to pick, because it would sing to me.
It didn't matter that my menu was jam packed already for this week. I needed to find a purpose for those gorgeous babies. It's good to be adaptable right?
So, we're having Heirloom Tomato Tart today!
With torn basil...because the farmer sold me up in to the basil.
I don't even really like basil. (Gasp! I know. It's just not my favorite. I tolerate it. But, I'll still occasionally entertain it. Like today. Don't judge me.)
But anyway, I was so mesmerized by the pretty tomatoes that when she asked me if I needed basil, the only word I could remember was “sure”.
For that reason, I'm calling the basil optional.
For today's tart, we're elevating the idea of a tomato sandwich. A tomato sandwich is a CLASSIC summertime treat. Simple white bread (or toast), slathered with mayo, layered with tomato slices, and finished with salt and pepper. That's it!
So, we're keeping the flavors just as simple in our tart so that the tomatoes can speak for themselves.
We start by baking off a sheet of puff pastry. Make sure to roll it out as thin as you can get it, and make sure you poke lots and lots of holes over the pastry. We don't want our tart to be 10 feet tall, so rolling it thin and poking holes to help the air escape helps it stay thinner and manageable when it bakes.
Then, we slather a cream cheese/mayo/black pepper mix on to the cooled pastry. We top it with our gorgeous tomatoes. We finish it with a pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper (and torn basil if your local farmer sold you up too, or if you just like basil). And we're done! The only thing left to do is eat and enjoy!
It really couldn't be easier, prettier, or yummier! The flavors are just so classic!
So, do yourselves a favor and hunt down your local heirloom tomato farmer asap!
Enjoy, and let's eat!
Heirloom Tomato Tart
Serves: 9 slices Print
1 sheet puff pastry (thawed according to package directions)
4 oz whipped cream cheese
2 tbsp mayo
½ tsp pepper (freshly ground)
5-6 heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick
2-3 basil leaves, torn (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
Bake the puff pastry: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry dough out to a 10 x 10 square. Take a steak knife, and draw a half inch border around the outside of the square, being careful not to cut all the way through, but trying to cut at least half way through. Take a fork and poke the pastry all over the bottom inside the square. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool completely.
Make the cream cheese mix: In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, mayo, and black pepper. Set aside.
Assemble the tart: When the pastry has completely cooled, spread the cream cheese mixture over the bottom of the pastry, leaving that same half inch border we lined off before. Arrange the tomato slices on top. Finish with a pinch of salt, pepper, and torn basil, if using. Cut in to 9 squares. Serve immediately.
*I keep freshly ground black pepper in a small jelly mason jar in the kitchen at all times to save me the hassle of having to grind it fresh every time. To make a batch, grind black peppercorns in a spice grinder or small food processor. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar.
*Make sure you roll the puff pastry dough out as thin as you can get it, and poke a lot of holes in the bottom of the dough. The dough will puff in to a huge pillow if you don't. Don't ask me how I know that...
*My tomatoes were pretty salty, so I didn't need much salt to finish the tart. Taste your tomatoes first so you know how to season. The mayo adds the salt content to the cream cheese spread, so it's ok that we don't add any in there.
*If you want to stick with the traditional flavors of a tomato sandwich, leave the basil out. Otherwise, it adds a nice floral note that pairs very well with tomato. *I like to use whipped cream cheese because it's already softened and ready to mix. You could use regular cream cheese, softened.