Oven Dried Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese and Olives

Every summer I go on a quest to find the perfect tomato tart or tomato pie recipe.  Last year I made two epic failures, neither of which you read about here.  Both contained copius amounts of shredded cheddar cheese and heaps of full fat mayonnaise – which, duh – I should have been able to tell by simply reading through the recipes that they wouldn’t be good (and that’s coming from someone who’s a self-confessed mayo fan).  But that’s definitely not the case with today’s recipe – and there’s not a lick of mayo in sight.

This is quite an elegant little tart, and would be perfect sliced into little slivers and served with baby greens as a first course.  Tonight I’m serving it as a side to my favorite grilled shrimp, along with a simple salad.  I think it would be pretty rich as a main course, but if that’s your thing — well, you know I’ll never sit in judgement.

Hope you’re having a great week.  :-)

Serves: 6-8
Source:  epicurious.com

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided (I thought this was a lot; you could cut it if you like)
6 medium tomatoes or large romas, cored, halved crosswise, seeded (stem tomatoes are on sale)
2 small garlic cloves, thinly slivered
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme, divided (I used 3/4 t. dried thyme, divided)

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed

1 cup coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup soft fresh goat cheese (about 4 ounces)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted (grab some from the olive bar if you won’t go through a whole jar)
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil; brush foil with 1 tablespoon oil. Place tomato halves, cut side up, on baking sheet. Sprinkle garlic and 1 tablespoon thyme (I used 1/2 t. dried thyme) over tomatoes; drizzle remaining 1/4 cup oil over. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake until tomatoes begin to shrink and are slightly dried but still soft, about 2 hours. Cool tomatoes on sheet; empty tomatoes from any juices that have accumulated inside while baking.  (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store in single layer in covered container in refrigerator.)

Roll out pastry on lightly floured surface to 13-inch square. Transfer pastry to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom,
pressing pastry firmly onto bottom and sides of pan. Trim overhang to 3/4 inch. Fold overhang in and press, pushing crust 1/4 inch above pan. Pierce crust all over with fork; chill 30 minutes.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Line pastry with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is set,
about 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans; bake until crust edges are golden, piercing with fork if crust bubbles, about 12 minutes longer. Cool crust 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Meanwhile, using fork, mash mozzarella cheese, goat cheese, and remaining 1 tablespoon thyme (I used 1/4 t. dried thyme) together in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add eggs and cream and stir with wire whisk until mixture is well blended. Spread cheese filling evenly in crust. Arrange tomato halves in filling, cut side up. Place olives between tomatoes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over top. Bake until filling is puffed and set, about 35 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Push up pan bottom, releasing sides. Serve tart warm.

NOTE:  I only have an 8″ tart pan – that’s why my tart is smaller and I didn’t use all the tomatoes I roasted.  I’m going to save them, chop them up, and toss them with pasta, fresh basil, and Parmesan for dinner another night this week.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | August 16th, 2011