As anyone who knows me will tell you, I have an addiction problem. Tomatoes, especially heirloom tomatoes. Totally addicted to them. This time of year is a particularly heady time for me, the tomatoes are rolling in from the fields, everyone’s backyard, rooftop, and balcony plants are dripping tomatoes. The choices are almost overwhelming, what to do, what to make, which to eat? I personally am a purist. Sliced and salted is my method of choice. But, I’m also totally in love with heirlooms and burrata cheese, as you’ve seen before. As I stood before the counter with these beauties in front of me, leaning yet again towards the simplest preparations, this time a caprese salad, I remembered the box of puff pastry languishing in the freezer. Hmmmmm….caprese tart. That could work. That totally could work. So here it is, something different to do with those tomatoes you’ve got sitting on your counter. Different, but familiar. You’ll know this one as soon as you start!
1 sheet of your favorite puff pastry, cut into four equal squares
1 to 1-1/2 pounds of the most beautiful tomatoes you have
1 container of Mozzarella Fresca ovaline fresh mozzarella
Preheat your oven to 400.
Peel and slice the tomatoes. Yes, you want to peel these as you’ll be cooking them and you don’t want to bite into the tart and pull a whole hot slice out of the tart onto your chin because of the tomato skin. De-seed and de-juice the best you can and then lay them on paper towelling to absorb more moisture. You want these as dry as you can get them. Slice and lay the mozzarella out the same way. The fresh mozzarella has a lot of moisture, and you want to dry these as well.
Line a baking sheet large enough to hold the four squares of puff pastry with parchment paper and arrange the squares on the paper, not touching each other. With a sharp knife, score a 1/2″ border around the perimeter of the square ( this is easier if the pastry is cold. I defrost mine, cut in to squares, put it on the baking sheet and put it back in the freezer for 10 minutes. ) You don’t want to go all the way through the pastry. What will happen is the weight of the tomatoes will keep the bottom from rising but the cut will give you a border to keep your ingredients in, and the outer 1/2 will puff up and contain the center.
Alternating tomatoes and cheese, lay them in the center of the pastry square, give them a good sprinkle of salt, a drizzle of olive oil, and bit of the balsamic vinegar.
If you look at the edges of the above picture, you’ll see where the balsamic has seeped into the border cut. That’s what your cut should look like, but I’m sure you’re neater than I am and won’t have ingredients sliding and splashing out. Bake them for about 20 minutes. They should be puffy along the edges, the cheese should all be melted and toasty, the tomatoes softened and slumped around the cheese. You might need a few minutes more or less depending on your oven. Take them out, let them sit for a few minutes, then sprinkle them with basil cut into ribbons or tuck whole leaves around the top.
These would make a wonderful appetizer or add a salad or some veggie dishes and you’d have a very satisfying supper. They’re even good cold. I had one for breakfast and I highly recommend it!