Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hot tomato

Chef, author, and American-in-Paris David Lebovitz posted on his blog about a French tomato tart that looked so good I had to try and make it. We had an invitation to a potluck to celebrate a friend's 65th birthday, so it was an occasion for the tart. I made it with some leftover store-bought frozen pastry I had.

It was delicious - it was so delicious we ate it all up and forgot to take a picture of it!

I had more tomatoes from the farmers' market, and also I wanted to try my hand at home-made pastry. So today, I made another version of it.


It's a very simple recipe - sliced tomatoes topped with mild goat cheese and herbs - but with a couple of tasty twists. A thin smear of Dijon mustard is spread on the pastry beneath the sliced tomatoes, and adds a little bite. And a drizzle of honey over the top of the tart brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes and helps caramelize them The original recipe called for slicing a log of goat cheese into rounds, but my goat cheese crumbled under the knife, so I simply distributed the crumbled cheese over the top.

For my second attempt, I decided to partially blind-bake the tart shell - the tomatoes gave off so much water the bottom crust of my first attempt had been soggy. This time around I also let my sliced tomatoes drain in a strainer over a bowl.

I had bought both red and yellow tomatoes at the farmers' market - for John's tart I used only red tomatoes. So today's tart is mostly yellow tomatoes - a pretty, sunny change.


I also used up all the goat cheese the day before for John's tart. My refrigerator held a variety of substitutes - feta cheese, asiago, or fresh mozzarella. In the end, I decided to use the mozzarella, and this time it sliced nicely. It lacks the complex taste of the goat cheese, but it's creamier.

I can't seem to follow a recipe without varying it a little, whether because I have to substitute an ingredient or because I'm just ornery. So my Dijon mustard is the grainy kind, not the smooth kind.

I can see trying this with a tarragon-flavored mustard, and chopped tarragon and parsley instead of oregano. Or basil. If it were winter, and fresh tomatoes weren't good, you could probably use canned whole Italian tomatoes, drained of juice and sliced. Or perhaps roasted or canned bell peppers in place of tomatoes. Or tomatoes and canned New Mexico green chiles, with Cotija cheese - the possibilities are endless.

So here it is - hot tomato tart number two!! Ready for its close-up. And ready for dinner.

8 comments:

kcinnova said...

It's 10:20am and my mouth is watering!

Nandoism™ said...

Wow! I've never seen tomatoes look so artistic before, rock on sister!

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

That looks so good- gotta love the almost-charred cheese.

Jason, as himself said...

To die for!!! This looks amazing. So yummy.

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Oh, I can almost taste this. I can't wait for fresh tomatoes so I can try it.

Aunt Snow said...

gotta love the almost-charred cheese.

Yes, my oven was a little hot!

Gilly said...

Looks absolutely gorgeous, my mouth is drooling! And you do it all so artistically - ssuch neatly sliced and arranged tomatoes!

Must try that sometime!

cactus petunia said...

Wow! It's 10 am, and now I'm starving! Beautiful tart.