Just a word of warning – this is not for the faint of tongue. Sure, it looks mild-mannered enough, with its flaky, buttery puff pastry and its perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes. But lurking underneath the tiny fruits is a spread of viciously tart intensity. Actually, this particular batch of cherry tomatoes was pretty intense itself, so it was a very strongly flavor-packed tart. Like so many other simple recipes, I would be sure that you like the flavor of each ingredient, because they will all shine.
I brought home this particular pint of cherry tomatoes quite without an idea of what to do with them. As I was checking out of the market, one of the tomatoes dropped out of the basket, and I popped it into my mouth. As it burst, it was just the very essence of a mid-summer tomato, and I knew that whatever the preparation, it would have to be simple. I’m not even sure what inspired this – probably some half-glimpsed recipe on the internet somewhere – but it turned out better than I imagined.
Tomato Goat Cheese Tart (serves 4-6 as an appetizer, or 1 rather hungry person for dinner)
The mustard and goat cheese, as mentioned above, are really quite intense. You may choose to either reduce the amount of mustard in the spread, or beat in some mitigating ingredient, like creme fraiche.
- 1/2 lb. puff pastry
- dry pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- 2 tbsp. dijon mustard
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375. Allow puff pastry to thaw. Unfold and roll, if necessary, to a rectangle of approximately 11″x14″. With a paring knife, lightly score a line all the way around the rectangle, about 1/2″ from the edges. Fold each edge in at the line and lightly press the edges into the pastry, to form an edge. Pinch out the corners.
- Place the goat cheese in a small bowl and microwave for approximately 30 seconds, until it has softened to spreadable consistency. Whisk in the mustard, and then spread this mixture onto the pastry rectangle, almost up to the folded-in edges.
- Rinse and halve the cherry tomatoes. Place cut-side-up in rows on the goat cheese mixture. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake 15-30 minutes, or until pastry has risen and is browned, and tomatoes have shrunken a bit in their skins.