Believe it or not but I used to hate tomatoes. I found them to be mushy, bland, watery, and completely tasteless. The only time I would like a tomato was in a marinara sauce, when it was flavored with so much else and smooth you didn't get the tomato texture.
But of course as our taste buds change and our eating habits and shopping places grow so did my love for tomatoes. I truly believe it came down to I was eating the wrong kind of tomatoes. Since I started buying mostly organic, local and from the farmers market I have grown to love so many different vegetables and fruits that I wouldn't even go near before.
The taste is completely different, the texture is different, the colours are different. Seriously if you want to try what real veggies and fruit are supposed to taste like, spend those few dollars more and buy in season and locally, you will realize what you have been missing very very quickly.
I love tomatoes now, fresh, cooked, simmered, broiled, roasted, even in sandwiches (and before that was like my nightmare place to find a tomato). Our tomato season just arrived here on the west coast, a little earlier than normal from the heat waves we had in April and beginning of May so I am going tomato crazy buying them all up and coming up with recipes for you guys.
This tart is one of the most flavourful things I have in my back pocket. I have made it for different occasions over the years. Sometimes I make them into small individual sized puffed tarts, or like the one here one large puffed tart. You can also make a pastry dough and use a pie dish to make a larger tomato tart with them, I have done that before and used heirloom tomatoes and it is absolutely divine.
The base is extraordinary, one day I was making a pizza base with thyme and shallots and decided to throw in a splash of white wine and thus came this combination. I have used it in all sorts of different recipes, baked brie, pizza, sandwiches, paninis, added to marinara's, it is so damn delicious and extremely versatile.
tomato, thyme, white wine & goat cheese puffed tart
1 package of puff pastry
1 pint of cherry/grape tomatoes
1/3 cup goat cheese
3 tbsp fresh thyme
5 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp of white wine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Unthaw the puff pastry in the fridge or on the counter.
While it is thawing, finely mince your garlic and shallots and finely chop the herbs. In a pan on low/medium heat add the olive oil and butter, once heated add in the minced shallots and cook until they start to brown, about 10-12 minutes. Add in the garlic and thyme, cook for 2-3 minutes and then deglaze with the white wine and let that simmer for 3-4 minutes (or until most of the liquid has evaporated). Take off the heat and set aside.
Chop the basil and slice the cherry/grape tomatoes into threes.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the thawed puff pastry into approximately 9x9 inch square. With a 3 inch cookie cutter cut out small circles. Do this with both sheets of puff pastry. You can re-roll the scraps and keep cutting if you wish, sometimes the pastry won't puff as well after being rolled a couple of times but I didn't have an issue.
Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with a fork. Add a small amount of the of the onion and thyme mixture, staying within the border of each circle.
Next add a couple of pieces of crumbled goat cheese to each circle, followed by 2 slices of tomato and couple of more small pieces crumbled of goat cheese (staying within the score lines for everything). Lightly brush the tomatoes with olive oil and then sprinkle with basil and Himalayan salt.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.
Serve warm or room temperature. My shallot fried asparagus farro salad goes exceptionally well as a side with this tart too, recipe here and pictured below.