Here in Northern California, we’re seeing the tail end of heirloom tomato season. You can still find several varieties at farmers markets, but you might also spy discounted bins for the damaged or less attractive ones. We overheard one vendor at the Ferry Building tell someone “We’re going to keep putting them out until some one complains.”
We snagged a few anyway last weekend at the Divisadero Farmers Market intending to throw them in a salad. But as often happens these days, life intruded and they sat in the fridge all week. It got to the point of using them or losing them to the compost bin.
Wanting to use them to highlight their sweetness, we opted to throw them in a tart. Since tomatoes are mostly water, we realized that a couple of extra steps were required to keep the pastry from getting soggy. We also decided to use up the goat curd that we had snagged from the Achadinha Cheese Company and crumbled that on top. This produced a sweet and savory combination that was a pleasure paired with crème fraiche fortified scrambled eggs for a relaxed week end breakfast
2 large heirloom tomatoes
3 tablespoons dried herbs (we used herbes de provence)
1 sheet thawed puff pastry
1 tablespoon mustard
3 oz goat cheese curds or any dry crumbly cheese
1) The night before you want to bake the tart, prep the tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 200. Core and slice tomatoes into ½” slices. Arrange the slices on a wire rack and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place tomatoes in oven and then turn off the heat and let them sit in there overnight.
2) Preheat oven to 350.
3) Roll out pastry and the place on a silpat lined baking sheet. Mix egg and mustard together. Brush half on pastry leave a ½ inch edge along the side.
4) Arrange tomato slices on pastry in slightly over lapping layers. Fold edges of pastry over to form a “bowl”. Drizzle remaining egg mixture over tomatoes.
5) Sprinkle top with herbs and crumbed cheese. Press down slightly on tomatoes and cheese.
6) Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until pastry is golden and cheese has browned. You want to do this slowly so the tomatoes dehydrate a little more.
7) Using a long spatula, transfer tart of a serving plate. Serve with scrambled eggs or a salad.
This article also appears at http://www.examiner.com/food-in-san-francisco/herbed-tomato-and-goat-curd-tart-using-the-best-of-the-end-of-the-sean