You know fall is quickly approaching when the countdown to college football has begun. (12 days, 17 hours, 30 minutes, and 34 seconds. Not that I checked or anything.) Time is flying by so fast, but I still have a few things on my summer checklist I need to accomplish. While I'm not sure if a dark summer glow is still in my future, there are a number of recipes that are possible thanks to the long growing season here in Georgia.
One of my yearly traditions is to make a classic tomato pie, which is basically a Southern spin on pizza (just add mayo.) A flaky pie crust, a cheddar and mayonnaise blend, and juicy garden tomatoes. What's not to like? But it always seems like a bit of a process, and I just haven't gotten around to whipping one up.
I've had piles of heirloom tomatoes sprawled across my counter tops for what seems like weeks now, so it was now or never. But this time around, I decided to give my retro tomato pie a little makeover. Not feeling domestic enough to whip up a pie crust, I figured frozen puff pastry might be just the solution to cut a few minutes from the recipe. I adjusted the other ingredient amounts, and what do you know? Perfection.
This makes a perfect summer appetizer, but I enjoyed it as a special lunch all on my own. This is one of those recipes that just takes you aback the first time you have a bite. You just won't believe how delicious (and easy) it is! And then you find yourself standing in the kitchen,
shoveling eating slices without even getting a plate. And that's when you know you've had success, right?
Three Cheese Tomato Tart
Serves 4 as entrée, 8 as appetizer
2 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°.
Lay out the tomato slices on a large sheet of paper towels. Cover with more paper towels and allow to drain for approximately 30 minutes (this is crucial to not getting a watery tart). Meanwhile, remove the sheet of puff pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Unfold the puff pastry onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, pinching to close any holes in the seams. Using a fork, prick the dough all over to prevent it from puffing up during baking.
Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over the entire puff pastry. Sprinkle evenly with shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Arrange the tomato slices over the cheese. Season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Grate a generous amount of Parmesan cheese on top and garnish with freshly chopped basil.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Remove the pastry from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Cut into 9 squares and serve immediately.
Related: How to Work with Frozen Puff Pastry
(Images: Nealey Dozier)