Quick & Easy Rustic Summer Tomato Tart

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Every summer we seem to have an excess of something in our garden. It is often zucchini, although this year our zucchini started off strong but then fizzled out to nothing. Our tomatoes however, have taken over, and our tomatoes plants have outgrown their six-foot stakes and are now either folding over or are growing into our olive trees. We have never had plants grow like these ones have, and despite the fact that we have four or five different varieties, they are all growing like weeds. With the temperatures in the nineties and with constant sunshine, I am presently picking a large basket full of tomatoes each and every day. Although I love eating raw tomatoes, one can only eat so many, so I have been using them for sauces, soups, freezing them, canning them, and basically, using them up every way I can think of. I recently decided to try something different, and pulled a package of puff pastry from the refrigerator and pulled together this light tart for lunch that I served with a big mixed salad.

I try and keep puff pastry in my refrigerator as often as possible because it is so versatile and you can use it for a quick appetizer, or a sweet dessert in mere minutes. I used large beefsteak, or “cuore di bue” tomatoes, although you could use any ripe, tasty tomato that you prefer. I think a combination of yellow and red heirloom tomatoes would be gorgeous on this tart as well. To add flavor and substance to this tart, I first covered the bottom of the tart with some shredded mozzarella and a little grated Parmesan cheese. After layering the tomatoes over the cheese, I sprinkled on more grated Parmesan along with some minced fresh basil, then simply baked it until the tart was golden brown. I like to cut this tart into good sized squares, but you could cut it into smaller pieces to pass around with a glass of wine when entertaining.

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Our daily tomato harvest.

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Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2016

Rustic Summer Tomato Tart

Ingredients:

  • 1 (10 x 12 inch) Rectangle of Puff Pastry
  • 3 Ripe, Large Beefsteak Tomatoes, Thinly Sliced
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 Beaten Egg
  • 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, Divided
  • 2 Teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Minced Fresh Basil

Directions:

  1. Place the tomato slices on paper towels, lightly salt and let rest 30 minutes to drain of excess liquid.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Unroll your puff pastry, and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Brush a 1-inch border of the pastry with the beaten egg.
  5. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the pastry sheet, leaving the border bare.
  6. Sprinkle half the grated Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella.
  7. Arrange the tomato slices on the pastry, overlapping to cover, leaving the border bare.
  8. Sprinkle the tomatoes with some salt and pepper.
  9. Scatter the minced basil over the tart, then drizzle with 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  10. Scatter the remaining Parmesan cheese on top.
  11. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  12. Cool 5 minutes, slice and serve.