Celebrate the flavors of summer with Puff Pastry Tomato Tart with olives, goat cheese, thyme, and pine nuts. Serve it as a summer appetizer while you’re waiting for dinner to grill or as dinner alongside a fresh salad.
This summer has been a rough one so far, mostly because I’m feeling uninspired and unmotivated.
I don’t have kids so I can’t blame being out of school for that. Maybe it’s because the weather is so beautiful, I don’t want to be indoors. But at the same time, it’s ridiculously hot, so then I don’t want to be outdoors.
I took my vacation in May before summer began. I have a few more mini trips planned before fall. Which in theory I can take them any time during the year, but for some reason I want to cram it all into summer.
I think I have a case of the summer slump where I’d rather spend an afternoon downtown than inside working. In which case I can take my laptop with me, but let’s face it – I won’t actually work.
I’ve been trying to push through the summer slump because I do have deadlines to meet and paychecks to earn, but what do you do when you have no motivation?
For me it’s taking time off to cook and bake without worrying about photographing or writing up the recipe. Simply me, the kitchen, and eating a hot meal served right away instead of 2 hours later after covering it in way too much parsley.
And sometimes when reading cookbooks isn’t enough, I’ll walk around a farmer’s market. My favorite summer produce to eat are tomatoes; grocery store tomatoes don’t even compare. If you’ve never had a fresh heirloom tomato, go pick up a few and make my homemade tomato soup ASAP.
Tomatoes come in all shapes and sizes, including small multi-colored ones. When I saw them, I knew they’d be perfect for this Puff Pastry Tomato Tart.
It’s ideal to serve as a summer appetizer for when you’re waiting for dinner to cook on the grill. Or serve it as the main dish alongside a fresh summer salad.
I love puff pastry tarts because you don’t have to make the dough. All you do is thaw, unroll, and bake. The result is a flaky crust which contrasts with the tomato olive filling.
Scoring the dough is an easy but necessary step to allow the puff pastry to expand and create the bed you see for the filling. This means you cut the dough with a knife without cutting all the way through. After doing this, prick the dough with a fork (otherwise known as docking) so steam escapes and doesn’t puff up too much in the middle.
One trick to keeping the tart from getting too watery from the tomatoes is allowing the tomatoes to drain cut side down onto a paper towel for 30 minutes then placing them cut side up on the tart. Do not skip this step because it may result in a soggy crust!
For the olives I used pimento stuffed Spanish olives, otherwise known as Manzanilla, to add both meatiness and brine to the tart filling. I grew up eating them straight from the jar, but they make excellent cooking olives as well. Because of their size and firmness, they pair perfectly with the cherry tomatoes.
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 jar (5.75 ounces) pimento stuffed Spanish olives, drained and patted dry
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese
- Sea salt, to taste
- Place tomatoes cut side down onto a paper towel and drain for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Unfold the puff pastry and place on the parchment-lined sheet. Score the pastry 1/2 inch from the edge then dock the pastry with a fork.
- In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, olives, pine nuts, olive oil, and thyme. Transfer to the puff pastry and spread evenly into a single layer, making sure the tomatoes are cut side up. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown. Immediately top with goat cheese. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting. Best served the same day it's baked.