Tennessee Tomato Tart

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell
tomato tart

A quick tomato tart made with puff pastry showcases summer tomatoes.

Tennessee tomatoes and cocktail hour is our favorite late summer combo.  Those margaritas sure taste great with corn chips piled with diced fresh tomatoes in pico de gallo.  Chilled prosecco and minerally Old World whites are the choices for those wonderful toothpick kebabs with cherry tomatoes, basil, and tiny fresh mozzarella balls.  Cold lager works well for washing down garlicy tomato bruschetta.

Now we’re turning the oven back on for September cocktails with a warm tomato tart.  Frozen puff pastry is the secret ingredient for making a gorgeous tart that’s unbelievably easy.   The hardest part is waiting for the dough to thaw, but that’s when you can get everything else ready.

The key to a fresh tomato tart is to remove the excess moisture from the tomatoes so it bakes up crisp.  Do this by slicing the tomatoes, sprinkling them with salt and letting them rest a few minutes.  Just before you lay the slices on the tart, blot both sides with a paper towel.  Even better, start with meaty Roma tomatoes that are less juicy to begin with.

Our tomato tart is accented with a combo of cooked zucchini and onions topped with Parmesan cheese.  Come up with your own variations.  Try one with a smear of pesto or swap the zucchini with lightly cooked spinach.  Add crumbled bacon or slivers of briny olives.  Change the cheese to Cheddar, Swiss, goat, feta or provolone.   Cut the tart in to little squares and get cocktails going.

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