Friday, September 6, 2013

Tomato tart with nine herbs

So what's the difference between a tomato pizza, a tomato focaccia and a tomato tart? The rules seem sketchy to me, but here is how I break it down; Pizzas are made with dough of course, and so are focaccias, except the dough is much thicker on a focaccia, and you wouldn't put a red sauce on a focaccia (although you would put sliced tomatoes!) And pizzas and focaccias use Italian cheeses, such as mozzarella. parm reg, romano, fontina, assiago, etc. I think tomato tarts are made with either puff pastry or a buttery pie type of dough, and they tend to use any kind of cheese, either the aforementioned Italian kinds, or non Italian kinds or combos, such as swiss, gruyere, cheddar, etc. Confusing, I know.  There are also tomato pies, but we won't even go there. That's how I sort it all out in my world anyhow. I could have it all wrong.

Here is a tomato tart that's made with a store bought all butter puff pastry, three colorful types of tomatoes—fresh from the garden—and nine, count em, nine herbs! Here's how I made it: I sautéed some minced garlic in olive oil for about a minute, turned off the heat and let it sit for a few more minutes to infuse the olive oil, then I brushed it all on the tart dough which was  rolled out on  cookie sheet pan. Then I spread a layer of whipped cream cheese and sprinkled a blend of grated cheddar and Monteray jack cheese on top. (This unusual cheese combo that, when cooked, blends with the tomato juices and makes a creamy, tomatoey, béchamel type sauce.) Then I added sliced tomatoes and red onions, sprinkled with salt and pepper, drizzled olive oil on top, and baked for 25 minutes in a 400° oven. After removing the tart from the oven, I sprinkled the nine different chopped herbs on top. I used parsley, lemon balm, mint, rosemary, thyme, lemon thyme, sage, basil, and chives. I especially like the rosemary and lemon thyme, so I use lots of those two herbs. Whether you call this a pizza, a focaccia or a tart, this is flakey, golden brown, and summer-lush! ... crisp, cheesy, herby and tomatoey!

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