Tomatoes….I absolutely love them! However, as we all know, here in the northeastern United States, there is a very short season for truly amazing fresh tomatoes. What to do? Don’t be afraid of canned tomatoes. Seriously.
I used two different types of canned tomatoes for this recipe. First, I used whole peeled San Marzano canned tomatoes to make my Homemade Tomato Paste (recipe below). Why bother? Well, I was curious to see if there was a difference in taste. I think there is. (But don’t be afraid to use a good quality store bought one as well) Why use whole tomatoes when you’re just going to blitz them immediately in the blender? Because the whole ones are a higher quality than what is used for crushed, diced or pureed canned tomatoes.
Next I used diced tomatoes as the topping for this tart. Of course, if it’s tomato season, you must use fresh tomatoes, sliced thin.
Who is Noelle and why is this tart French? Noelle is a very French sounding name and was my alter ego in my mid-twenties, when creepy guys would approach me at the bar. They would get a fake name, Noelle Hollister, and if they dared ask the most banal of questions…”What do you do?”…they were told I worked for the FBI, out of the Albany field office. The tart is French because it is rather traditional to use in-season tomatoes in tart like this with a pastry crust, a brush of strong mustard and possibly some cheese.
Please…if you love tomatoes…give Noelle’s French Tomato Tart a try!
- 1 sheet puff-pastry dough, thawed according to package directions (I like Trader Joe’s)
- 1 tbsp Dijon (I like Grey Poupon)
- 1 tbsp Roasted Garlic paste (see below)
- 2 tbsp Homemade Tomato paste (see below)
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (I like Hunt’s Fire Roasted), drained
- 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Unfold the sheet of puff-pastry onto a piece of parchment paper and roll to ¼ inch thick. Transfer parchment paper and dough to a baking sheet.
- Stir together the Dijon and garlic, then spread over the puff-pastry.
- Spread the tomato paste over the mustard-garlic mixture.
- Spread the tomatoes evenly over the puff-pastry.
- Sprinkle the tart with the goat cheese.
- Bake until the dough is puffed and golden brown, 20 minutes.
- Let cool for a few minutes before cutting into pieces.
Homemade Tomato Paste:
- 2 (1lb 12oz) cans whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes (I use Cento)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ c good olive oil ( I use O-Med Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- Puree the tomatoes in a blender, then push through a fine mesh sieve with a spatula into a large pot, leaving behind larger pulp and seeds. (I process one can at a time)
- Add the salt and olive oil. Stir. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a low, steady simmer.
- Stirring every 15-20 minutes, reduce the tomato liquid for about 1 ½ hours.
- The tomato mixture will start to become pasty at this point.
- Once you have a loose paste, you’ll want to turn the heat up to high, stirring constantly, to eliminate the remaining moisture. This takes about 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer the paste to a glass jar. Let cool 15 minutes without the lid on.
- Pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top of the paste and put on the lid.
- Store in the fridge. (This will last 3 months, as long as you keep a layer of oil on the top.)
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Slice off the top ¼” of the garlic bulb.
- Pour the olive oil on top of the garlic and rub all around.
- Wrap in aluminum foil.
- Roast for 55 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
- Squeeze the roasted garlic out and either leave whole or mash into a paste.