There it was, sitting on my kitchen counter – a bag chock full of tomatoes which I had no idea what to do with. Salads are fine, I love them, but precisely how much salad are you supposed to eat if you want to use up 3 kilos of cherry tomatoes? And besides, I prefer larger tomatoes for my summer salads.
And then I remembered. That photo I saw years ago in Joanne Harris’ cookbook My French Kitchen. It has been haunting me ever since 2003, the year when I bought my mother the Croatian translation of the cookbook for her birthday. So, all in all, 14 years of waiting to try a recipe. That might actually be a record of mine.
Now, there was no excuse not to try it – both my husband and myself love tomatoes and I had the best produce I could get my hands on. It was either tomato tart or endless amounts of salad. Obviously, I went for the tart.
And it was so good. I mean soooo good we ended up making it three times that week. So much for variety.
I have to say I did not stick to the original recipe much, it was more of a starting point for something a bit different. I used ready made puff pastry instead of making my own pâte brisée (those with toddlers will understand shortcuts are life-savers) and instead of mustard, I went for something a bit more local – olive tapenade which I had prepared earlier for a beautiful food photoshoot on the Island of Šipan. More on that one some other time. I also played around with ratios and added some pine nuts and garlic because well… Garlic.
Time for the tart.
ROAST CHERRY TOMATO TART
Inspired by My French Kitchen (Joanne Harris)
- 200-250 g ready-made puff pastry
- 3 tablespoons crème fraîche (if buying Croatian ingredients, look for the closest equivalent: Mileram)
- 1 tablespoon olive tapenade (or good-quality mustard)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- about 300 g cherry tomatoes
- fresh thyme
- olive oil for drizzling
- pine nuts and arugula, to serve
Heat the oven to 200°C.
On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to fit your tart pan – both round (diameter approx 25 cm) and rectangular (12x30cm) will work.
In s small bowl, combine the crème fraîche, tapenade and garlic. Season to taste and spread over the pastry base.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and arrange them on top (cut side up). Sprinkle with fresh thyme (ideal, but if you don’t have fresh thyme on hand, dreid will do too), add some more salt and pepper and bake for 40-50 minutes.
Serve cold, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with pine nuts, and with some arugula on the side.