THIS WEEK, feeling inspired by cookbook authors Kate Hill and David Lebovitz, I made a French tomato tart. What poetry! The tender, flaky, Pâte Brisée shell is brushed with winey Dijon mustard, and topped with tomatoes, fragrant herbs, and rounds of tangy goat cheese.
Note: Pâte Brisée (French pastry dough) is extremely easy to make (and first 9 photos below will prove this to you). But if you are in an absolute rush, go ahead and use store-bought pastry dough.
I’m practicing my adverbs today.
Note: You needn’t grease the pan. Pâte Brisée contains enough butter to keep it from sticking.
Freeze the dough for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the slices with salt, pepper, and fresh, coarsely-chopped herbs. I used chives and parsley from my Herb Garden, but you could use thyme, oregano, tarragon, or whatever you like or have on hand. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Folks, you won’t believe the deliciousness of this tart. Brenda Johnson (my taste-tester) and I both swooned over the layers of flavors, which included the awesome kick of Dijon mustard.
And here, for your convenience, is a copy-and-paste version of the above:
Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart
Adapted, slightly, from A Culinary Journey in Gascony by Kate Hill (Ten Speed Press; 2004)
Ingredients for one 9-inch tart, or 6-8 servings
Pâte Brisée (French pastry dough) for a 9-inch tart pan, chilled (recipe here)
1 generous tablespoon Dijon mustard
2-3 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Salt and freshly-ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh, coarsely-chopped herbs (such as parsley, chives, thyme, tarragon, and/or oregano)
8 oz (or more) goat cheese, cut into 1/2-inch slices
Special Equipment: A 9-inch diameter removable-bottom tart pan
Place the oven rack at the center position; preheat the oven to 425°F.
1. Roll the Pâte Brisée dough into a 12-inch diameter circle. Transfer the dough to the tart pan, and fold the overhang inward, pressing it against the fluted rim of the pan. Dock the bottom of the pastry with the tines of a fork. Chill the dough in the freezer for 10 minutes.
2. Use a pastry brush (or the back of a spoon) to spread the Dijon mustard over the bottom of the crust.
3. Layer the tomato slices in the tart pan, and season them with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the chopped herbs. Top the tomatoes with the sliced goat cheese and the remaining herbs.
4. Bake until the crust is done, and the tomatoes are tender — about 30 minutes. To brown the cheese, set the tart under the broiler for about 2 minutes.
Let the tart cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, then unmold it. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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