Summer has arrived and so have garden fresh tomatoes, such a welcome change from cardboard varieties that never seem to go away. Take advantage of the many ways fresh tomatoes can be enjoyed. Of course there is my favorite, go to sandwich, the BLT but that’s another post. For something really elegant and different, try this summer tomato tart made with a sheet of store bought puff pastry and serve as an appetizer, lunch or dinner.
Summer Tomato Tart
Serves 6 as a main course or 8-10 as an antipasto
3 large tomatoes sliced in thin rounds
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 sprigs parsley leaves
2 sprigs oregano leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 sheet prepared puff pastry from a 17-1/2 ounce package
2 tablespoons spicy mustard
1-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese cut in bits
1/2 cup sliced salami, pepperoni or other dried sausage
Layer the tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle each layer with salt. Let the tomatoes “sweat” while preparing the other ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 425F
Mince the garlic, parsley and basil together and transfer to a small bowl. Stir in the oregano and the oil to make a loose paste. Set aside.
Roll the pastry out into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Line the bottom and sides of a 10- 1/2 inch tart pan with removable bottom.. Cut off any excess dough and set a side.
Prick the tart shell with a fork to prevent puffing in the oven. Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pastry dough and spread rice or dried beans over the foil. This will also prevent puffing while baking.
Bake 10 minutes. Watch carefully. Remove the foil and rice or beans and allow the tart to brown slightly.
Remove the tart shell from the oven and immediately brush it with the mustard.
Fill the shell half of the cheese. Dry the tomato slices on paper towels. Overlap the slices over the cheese, filling in the base. Spread the herb mixture over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with rest of the cheese and add the salami.
Return the tart to the oven and bake it for 25 minutes or until it is nicely browned and the cheese has melted.
Cool slightly on a rack, then carefully remove the sides of the pan. Place the tart on a flat serving dish and cut into wedges.