It's mid September and we have a solid week of rain in Portland. I frantically picked a ton ( I'm not joking ) of tomatoes from the garden before the rain rolled in. Although it feels like fall, for the moment, I'm not ready just yet for pumpkin spice and baked goods.....give me a few more weeks. We now have capresse salads, tomato corn gratin and toasted bread with mayo and tomato in our future. Not a bad thing to overindulge in.
I love making this tart from Suzanne Goin. I picked her book up years ago and from it spurred the worlds biggest backyard vegetable garden. I ordered all my seeds from Italy and occupied a sunny window in our guest room with seed starts in early April. Those were the days. Now I have a smaller veg patch and instead of nurturing tiny seedlings I'm devoting my time to my boys, not a bad trade off. We now go to the garden center and pick out heirloom tomatoes (based on their silly names), green beans, leafy greens basically anything that suits their fancy. They are great helpers and I love nothing more than when I see them snacking from the garden or having them snip fresh herbs for me while I'm making dinner. It's become a family affair.
This tart warrants a tasty rose wine and good company. The arugula salad is the perfect accompaniment and sometimes I like to pile it right on top of the tart. The flavors are that of puttanesca delivered on a buttery puff pastry.
If you have friends pushing their tomato harvest on you, grab a few and put this tart together. Better yet have them over for a glass of wine and share in the deliciousness, while the sun is still shining and linger in the last bit of the season.
Tomato Tart with Capers, Anchovies and Caramelized Onions
Adapted from Sunday Supper at Lucques
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 cups thinly sliced onions ( roughly 1 1/2 lbs )
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 sheet frozen all butter puff pastry
1 extra large egg yolk
3 medium heirloom tomatoes ( mixed colors )
3 or 4 salt packed anchovy fillets, rinsed bones removed
2 teaspoons salt packed capers, soaked and drained
1/4 cup Nicoise olives, pitted, cut in half
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon for juicing
1 bunch arugula, cleaned and dried
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup small basil leaves
1/4 cup 1/2 inch snipped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over high heat for 2 minutes. Swirl in 3 tablespoons olive oil, and add the onions, 2 teaspoons of thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Cook, stirring often for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium, add the butter, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the onions are a deep golden brown. Let cool completely before you make the tart, so they don't melt the pastry.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Place a defrosted puff pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a paring knife to score a 1/8 inch thick border around the edge of the pastry. Whisk together the egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water. Brush the border with the egg wash. Spread the caramelized onions evenly within border.
Core and slice heirloom tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Place the tomato slices, just touching but not overlapping, on top of the caramelized onions flush within the border. Season with salt and a few grindings of pepper.
Slice the anchovies thinly on the diagonal.
Arrange the anchovies, capers and olives over the tomatoes and onions. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of thyme over the tart.
Bake the tart 10 minutes. Turn the sheet pan, and bake another 10-12 minutes, until the crust is deep golden brown.
Just before serving, place the cherry tomatoes and diced shallot in a bowl and season them with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes, squeeze in a little lemon juice, and toss together. Add the arugula and herbs and toss well. Taste for seasoning. Cut the tart into 6 wedges and serve with the arugula salad.