Spring and a Tomato and Three Cheese Tart

by Amanda McInerney on 06/10/2013

Tomatoes

Like everyone else in this world, I’ve gushed about spring in the past and droned on rapturously about the sunshine, flowers, birdies, bees, blah, blah, blah. That’s all lovely, of course, but there is another side to spring that has slightly fewer charms. I’m talking about the swallows which insist on annually nesting on my outdoor blinds, pooping all over said blinds and the table and chairs below. Or how about the changeable weather with it’s sunshine, gentle breezes, howling gales and pouring rains – often all in the course of just a few hours, meaning I am continuously underdressed or overdressed. Last week the evening temperature up here plummeted to 5C – just when we’d run out of fire wood. Then there’s the skyrocketing pollen counts and the subsequent cost of boxes of tissues and giant economy-sized packets of anti-histamines. And, most exciting of all, the sudden appearance of hungry and aggressively bad-tempered brown snakes who, combined with the triffid like growth of the grass/plants/weeds around our property, make my trips to the hen house to collect the eggs an anxiety-ridden scuttle, complete with long rubber boots and a machete. I’m telling you, it’s not all beer and skittles up here in springtime in the hills.

My first spring roses

Spring flowers, Columbine

There – I’m glad I’ve got that little moan off my chest.

Spring lavender & bee

Spring flowers, Banksia Rose

One thing I always welcome at this time of the year, though, is the reappearance of the first of the seasonal tomatoes. Tomatoes in general are mostly a disappointment these days, with even the pricey, vine-ripened ones failing to deliver much in the way of flavour, and my complete and utter inability to grow them up here means that I’m reliant on those I buy at the farmers markets. However, I recently made a slightly happy discovery with the purchase of a punnet of the mini Roma tomatoes from my local Foodland store. They seem to have a little more flavour than other commercially available tomatoes and really come into their own when slow roasted.

Tomato & 3 Cheese Tart

This recipe uses the tomatoes after they’ve been slow-roasted and, with frozen puff pastry and lots of fresh herbs from my garden, is another of my lazy-girl cheats dishes. I made it for my dear friend Liz for lunch the other day, along with a big plate of brownies for dessert and we were both pretty happy with the meal. Just one tip, watch the baking of this tart like a hawk. I didn’t and let it go just a little too long – it tasted great, but didn’t photograph so well.

Tomato and Three Cheese Tart
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 300 gms mini Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 50 mls olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • ½ cup of grated cheese (either mozzarella or cheddar, you decide)
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • 100 gms goats chevre or feta
  • 1 egg, beaten

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 150C (300F).
  2. Toss halved tomatoes, ½ the bunch of thyme leaves, ½ the bunch of oregano leaves, salt, pepper and olive oil in a bowl, then place the tomatoes on a lined baking tray, cut side up. Place in oven and roast for 1 hour. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Raise oven temperature to 200C (400F).
  4. Place thawed pastry on a sheet of oven-proof paper, cover with another sheet and roll out gently to a rectangular shape.
  5. Leaving the pastry on the bottom sheet of paper, place it on a baking tray and using a sharp knife score a line 2 cms around the four sides of the inside of the pastry, making a 2 cm frame around the edge of the pastry.
  6. Sprinkle the interior rectangle with the cheddar cheese and the parmesan cheese and dot with the slightly cooled, roasted tomatoes.
  7. Sprinkle with the remaining thyme leaves and brush the pastry edge with egg wash.
  8. Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes – no longer or cheese will overcook.
  9. Scatter the tart with crumbled goats chevre or feta, then sprinkle with the remaining oregano leaves.

 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef October 7, 2013 at 8:25 am

We ate our first big homegrown tomatoes last week and I was in springtime heaven. Grown in pots! I haven’t seen a snake but I’ve been putting out ant bait for over a week. I could use a good grumpy session. :) In the meantime I’m going to go and pick some of the cherry tomatoes that are red and make this tart for lunch.

Kate October 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm

I killed a spider this morning and got hysterical – I could never deal with a snake even with a machete in hand.

Vija October 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I would run for the hills if I saw a snake. Stay safe. That tart looks delicious.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella October 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Well thankfully we don’t have snakes. The other bits wouldn’t bother me though and I get hayfever. But I’m just glad for the warmth!

Lisa the Gourmet Wog October 7, 2013 at 11:07 pm

sometimes you just got to let it out!! Great tart recipe xx

Barbara | Creative Culinary October 8, 2013 at 1:06 am

No cheating…it takes time to go buy puff pastry! I’m going to just say it up front…I plan to be jealous while you eat tomatoes; our chill is in the air and fresh tomato season is over. Sobbing a bit; I want this tart!

Fran @ G'day Souffle' October 8, 2013 at 1:07 am

Hmmm, if you wind up killing a snake or two, maybe you could invent a recipe using snake meat. I think they sometimes use snake in some Asian recipes. Anyway, back to your tart recipe- I like the making of the 2 cm frame for the tart- this dresses up the dish nicely!

Shirley from Rhubarb Whine October 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I do love simple tarts and galettes. By simple, I mean a small amount of great ingredients that celebrate taste. This is such a beautiful example.

Hotly Spiced October 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I agree with you re tomatoes. They can look so pretty in the supermarket and you can pay a hefty price for them but then you get them home and they fail to deliver. I’ve been buying some organic tomatoes lately and they’re wonderful but again, expensive. It’s hard to win. I should stop procrastinating and start growing my own! xx

Helen (Grab Your Fork) October 8, 2013 at 1:15 pm

The tart sounds lovely. Maybe next time there’ll be a rendition with grated feta across the top? :P

InTolerant Chef October 8, 2013 at 6:39 pm

We’ve had the blustery breezes, yellow pollen so thick you can draw a line across the car windscreen and temperatures still dropping to minus 1 some mornings too. I think it’ll still be a couple more weeks until my tomato seedlings are safe, but hopefully they’ll grow soon so I can make your yummy tart!

Kyrstie@A Fresh Legacy October 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm

A great flavor combo! I also roast tomatoes to enhance the flavor when I am not using my own tomatoes.

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