At his school they have a farm-to-table initiative to incorporate fresh, organic, and locally grown produce into the lunches served to kids.
It’s a wonderful program that supports local farmers and better nutrition. Unfortunately that week the kids were apparently not diggin’ the cherry tomatoes, so the leftovers were made available to staff. He came home with tons of tomatoes and said, “I figured you could do something with them.” And do something I did.
Sauteed garlic on the buttery pastry dough and fresh Parmesan layered below the tomatoes gave it savory perfection.
We’re a bit beyond the fresh tomato season now, but cherry tomatoes are still available in the stores.
- Buttery Pastry Dough Recipe
- 2 TB extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 c. fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1-1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
- 60 cherry tomatoes (about 3 pints)
- 2-3 yellow or orange grape tomatoes (optional)
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- Roll the pastry dough out on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 13″ in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-1/2″ glass pie or tart dish, pressing it into the bottom and up along the sides. Cover the dish lightly with plastic wrap and put into the fridge.
- Cut the tomatoes into thin slices, getting about 4 slices from each tomato. Lay the slices on a plate and set aside.
- Heat the oil over medium heat and add the minced garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat just before it starts to brown.
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- Remove the tart shell from the fridge. Brush the sauteed garlic and the oil over the bottom of the crust. Sprinkle the chopped basil evenly over the bottom, and then sprinkle the shredded Parmesan over the basil.
- Place the tomatoes over the cheese: start with a single layer of tomatoes to cover the cheese. Then fill in with the remaining tomatoes until they are all used. (I had a couple of yellow grape tomatoes that I sliced and added to the middle of the tart.) Sprinkle the salt and pepper lightly over the top of the tomatoes.
- Fold and roll the pastry dough edges down to form a crust around the tart. Brush the crust with the beaten egg.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. The tomatoes should look cooked and the crust lightly browned – check often to be sure the crust isn’t burning too fast. If it is, place pieces of foil carefully over the crust to protect it.
- Remove the tart from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve while it’s hot or at room temperature.