Cucina Valentina

Cucina Valentina

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Here in California, tomatoes are a summertime staple.

Unfortunately I am apparently lacking the all-important green thumb.  For three years in a row I have planted numerous tomato plants in the ground, in pots, hanging upside down, all to no avail.

My dreams of cultivating mammoth-sized red, ripe beauties are repeatedly crushed by the few spindly runts the plants produce.  So, I give up.  Why water, fertilize and worry and water some more, when I can drive a mile down the road to Tom's Farms, our local produce stand, and be dazzled by their amazing tomato display, while supporting our local farmers at the same time?

With so many gorgeous varieties and colors to choose from, even in grocery stores now, it's possible to put together a virtual, edible work of art in just minutes!

This tart is one of my favorites.  It makes for an incredibly impressive presentation - with only six ingredients!

Start with the prettiest tomatoes you can find.  I love mixing sizes as well as colors, from mottled greens to vibrant yellows and reds, to achieve a rustic effect.

Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets are deliciously flaky and fun to create with.  I've started keeping them in my freezer at all times. 

Just roll the sheet out to your desired size and shape, prick all over with a fork, pop it in the oven for ten minutes, let cool and you are ready to start creating!

A simple base of minced shallots mixed into cream cheese makes a delicious foundation that compliments the tomatoes.

Once the tomatoes are artfully arranged on top of the cheese, sprinkle with sea salt and coarse ground black pepper to enhance flavor.  I used Cucina Valentina Lemon Rosemary Sea Salts, of course.  lol

Then back into the oven for a quick broil and you are ready to start decorating!

Nothing crazy here.  Just a drizzle of balsamic glaze and a scattering of basil leaves is enough.

Heirloom Tomato Tart


Puff Pastry - 1 sheet
3 - 5 Heirloom tomatoes (assorted colors, sizes)
8 oz cream cheese
2 T minced shallot
salt and pepper
balsamic glaze
fresh basil


Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface to fit your rimmed sheet pan.  Prick all over with a fork to prevent puffing.

Bake at 400 for 10 minutes until golden. Let cool.

Mix minced shallots into the softened cream cheese and spread evenly onto the puff pastry, leaving a half inch border around edges.

Slice tomatoes 1/4 - 1/8 inch thick and arrange on top of cream cheese.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper then bake at 400 another 10 - 15 minutes, switching to broil if need be to help caramelize the tomatoes.

Drizzle warm tart with balsamic glaze and scatter with basil leaves.

Guaranteed to get you rave reviews!  My own husband scoffed at the thought of broiled tomatoes. Guess who took all the leftovers to work??