February 1, 2011

{Easy Recipes} Tomato Tart with Olive Tapenade

After enjoying a memorable dinner at The French Laundry on our honeymoon, we had to buy Thomas Keller's French Laundry cookbook as a souvenir.  Thus far, this beautiful book has been a lovely coffee table piece, but this year I vowed to make something from it.  I decided to try one of the easier recipes in the book, Heirloom Tomato Tart with Nicoise Olive Tapenade, Mixed Field Greens, and Basil Vinaigrette.  I ended up making a simplified version of Keller's original recipe (based on what I had on hand and the time I had to make dinner - note to self, reserve a whole weekend to attempt a French Laundry recipe!). The end result was a lovely tomato tart that my husband devoured, mainly because of the olive/anchovy topping.

For the Original Recipe by Thomas Keller, click here.  Below is my simplified version of Keller's original recipe.
Tomato Tart with Olive Tapenade (adapted from Thomas Keller)
Ingredients (serves 6):
Extra virgin olive oil (1/4 cup + 2 T for tomatoes; 1/4 cup for olives)
salt and pepper
2 tsp dried thyme
1 small 2 oz can of anchovies
1/2 cup niçoise olives, pitted
1 sheet puff pastry (I used Trader Joe's frozen puff pastry)
 1/4 t Dijon mustard
1/2 T pesto

2 cups mesclun salad (we love Satur Farm's greens)
1 T balsamic vinegar 
1. Preheat oven to 250F
2. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with 1 T of olive oil.
3. Cut 2 tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices (total 6 slices)
4. Place the 6 slices onto the baking sheet, sprinkle salt and pepper, thyme leaves, and 2 T of oil.
5. Roast tomatoes for 45 mins to 1 hour, drying then out slightly (but still staying moist).  These can be prepared a day ahead and stored, covered in the refrigerator
6.  Line another baking sheet with a kitchen towel.
7. Slice the other 3 tomatoes into 1/8 inch slices (6 slices each, total 18 slices).
8. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with remaining 3 T olive oil.
9. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
10. For the olive tapenade, mix the anchovies with the olives and mustard into a chunky paste.
11.  Add the olive oil to the mix. (The tapenade is easier to make with a small food processor).
12. Refrigerate the mix until ready to use.
13.  Preheat oven to 375F (no tomatoes should be in the oven!)
14. Cut puff pastry sheet into 6 circles (3-inches in diameter). Place the circles on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
15. Place a slice of roasted tomato on each circle.
16.  Bake for 25-35 mins, or until the puff pastry is crisp and browned.
17. For the salad, mix the greens with the pesto
18. Add the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
19. Now we're finally ready to assemble the tart! Place the puff pastry on a plate, add 3 slices of the chilled tomatoes, and spoon some of the olive tapenade on top of the tomatoes.  Top the tomato stack with the dress greens and serve.

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