Fresh Tomato Tatin

BlogHer Original Post

One of my favourite things about summer is all of the fresh local produce at the farmers market, so I tend to head down every Saturday morning. The market starts out slowly in the spring, with asparagus and then strawberries. By July, things pick up, with a flurry of new things every week. 

Out of all of the amazing produce, one of the things that I look forward to the most is the tomatoes. There is just something irresistible about field-ripened tomatoes that keeps me longing for them all year round.  

Although I usually start off tomato season with some beefsteak tomatoes in BLT’s, this year I went with something a little different -- a savoury tomato tatin! (A tatin is a sweet or savoury tart or pie with the pie crust is on the top instead of the bottom.)

While I was coming up with the recipe, I had two different ideas.  The first was to slowly roast some Roma (or plum) tomatoes to bring out their flavor. The second was to use heirloom cherry tomatoes baked until they were just bursting and releasing their juices to the bottom of the pan. After struggling for a while I decided to just make them both!  You can never really have too much tomato-y goodness!

cherry tomato tatin

For the slow roasted tomato tatin I went with Roma tomatoes, as they tend to have fewer seeds and to be less juicy, which makes them ideal for a tatin.  A sweet tarte tatin normally starts off with a quick caramel sauce, and I decided to go the same way for the tomato variety. I melted the caramel sauce with some balsamic vinegar to bring in some tangy, savoury notes.  Balsamic vinegar goes really well with tomatoes in general.  Thyme is another great pairing, so I added some of that along with garlic, salt and pepper to round out the flavours.  After the sauce is made, the tomatoes are added to the pan, which is placed into the oven to slowly roast and bring out all of the glorious flavours.  Since I was going to be slowly roasting the tomatoes for a few hours anyway, I had time to caramelize and add onions.  Once the tomatoes are roasted, the crust is added and the tatin is baked until the pastry is golden brown.

tomato tatin crust

The slow-roasted tomato tatin took more than two hours to make, so I wanted to keep the heirloom cherry tomato tarte tatin as quick and easy as possible!  I started out with the same caramel sauce, and then simply tossed the cherry tomatoes into the pan, followed by the puff pastry and baked the whole thing until golden brown and bubbling.

cherry tomato tatin

Another great thing about the summer is the availability of fresh basil, and I could not resist serving the tomato tatins topped with a fresh homemade basil pesto! I also topped them with a creamy and tangy goat cheese, baby arugula, and toasted pine nuts.  Served with a salad, these tomato tarte tatins make for an amazing light meal that celebrates the market fresh tomatoes and summer!

Cherry Tomato Tatin

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon thyme, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 pounds cherry tomatoes

1 sheet of puff pastry

Directions:

1. Heat the sugar and water in an oven proof skillet over medium heat until the sugar turns liquid and lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes.

2. Carefully add the vinegar, wait for the caramel to stop sputtering, remove from heat, mix in the oil, garlic thyme, salt and pepper and add the tomtoes.

3. Roll the puff pastry out and cut a circle a little larger that the pan.

4. Place the pastry over the tomatoes in the pan folding the edges over and cut three slits into the top to vent steam.

5. Bake in a preheated 425F oven until golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.

Slow-Roasted Tomato Tatin

 

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients:

2 pounds plum tomatoes, cut in half

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon thyme, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

2 onions, thinly sliced

1 sheet of puff pastry

Directions:

1. Sprinkle the cut sides of the tomatoes with salt and pepper.

2. Heat the sugar and water in an oven proof skillet over medium heat until the sugar turns liquid and lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes.

3. Carefully add the vinegar, wait for the caramel to stop sputtering, remove from heat and add the garlic, thyme and oil.

4. Place the tomatoes face down in the sauce and bake in a preheated 275 oven for 2 hours.

5. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the onions and cook until caramelized and a deep golden brown, add 2 tablespoons of water and deglaze the pan and set aside.

6. Place the onions on top of the tomatoes.

7. Roll the puff pastry out and cut a circle a little larger that the pan.

8. Place the pastry over the tomatoes in the pan folding the edges over and cut three slits into the top to vent steam.

9. bake in a preheated 450F oven until golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.

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