I don’t know about you, but we are drowning in homegrown tomatoes right now! Not that I’m complaining at all. There’s nothing better than a ripe from the vine tomato. The past few years our tomato crop has been just terrible, so I guess we’re just making up for it now! Back in the early spring Andrew planted about 15 tomato plants from seed in our basement under fluorescent plant lights. When we transferred them to our raised beds in early May, we were hoping for at least a few to survive the ravenous rabbits and the hot, rainless summer days.
Luckily, many of them did survive so that we could enjoy this amazing recipe that I’m bringing you today. We all know what an incredible combination tomatoes and mozzarella make….but imagine roasted tomatoes and mozzarella baked on top of a flaky puff pastry. One word-incredible. How could something so simple to make, be this good?
The flaky crust is double baked, once with a waterproofing egg wash to prevent a soggy crust and second with a layer of mozzarella cheese and vine-ripened tomatoes. Although this tart is super easy to make, you can make it even easier by making the tart shell ahead of time. Just pre-bake through step 1, cool to room temperature, wrap in plastic wrap, and keep at room temperature (for up to two days) before topping and baking with the mozzarella and tomatoes.
Yield: 2 to 3 servings
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 plum tomatoes (or 1 large heirloom tomato), cored and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (about 4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 11-inch square and place in the center of the prepared baking sheet. Form a crust by folding over the edges about a ½ inch, then brush the edges with egg. Brush all over with the beaten egg.
Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly with the dough, then poke the dough all over with a fork, making sure to go the whole way through the dough. Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
While the crust is baking, place the tomato slices on a triple layer of paper towels. Sprinkle salt and let sit for 30 minutes. Place second double layer paper towels on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry tomatoes. In a small bowl, combine garlic, olive oil, and pinch each of salt and pepper; set aside.
Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over the bottom of the crust and layer the tomato slices evenly over the mozzarella. Drizzle olive oil mixture evenly over the tomatoes. Bake until the crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted, 10 to 15 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before sprinkling with basil. Transfer the tart to a cutting board and using a pizza cutter, slice into pieces and serve.
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