Spring is just around the corner and with that comes spring gardens! Depending where you live, you may still be planning this year’s vegetable patch or ready to break ground. If you’re like me, you have to settle for something small in scale.
We have a generous yard, but also live in the woods (read: shade). So, I make do with an indoor hydroponic garden. It’s been great for growing fresh herbs, edible flowers, lettuces…and for the first time, I’m growing tomatoes! As a matter of fact, just this morning I noticed the first flower blossoms.
The anticipation of those juicy mini tomatoes inspired this tart. Whether you have a yard full of tomatoes or a container on your fire escape, this recipe is perfect when you have an overabundance of tomatoes. After you’ve made all the salsas, salads and fresh tomato dishes, switch gears and bake a tart full of concentrated tomato flavor.
Ingredients for an Easy Tomato Tart
- Pantry staples – extra virgin olive oil, coarse sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper.
- Mini tomatoes – cherry or grape. Heirloom or a variety of colors add some pizazz. I happen to be growing mini tomatoes, but I do like them for this recipe as their size is perfect for this single layer, pan cooking method.
- Shallots – sliced thin, these will sweeten and soften and compliment the tomatoes nicely.
- Garlic – fresh whole cloves.
- Honey – this will balance any acidity in the tomatoes and help them slightly caramelize during the cooking process.
- Fresh thyme – just the leaves, no need to chop these either.
- Fresh goat cheese – the tangy, soft fromage is amazing with tomatoes.
- Puff pastry – store-bought (hence, easy). The flaky, buttery pastry is just right for this delicately textured tart.
Let’s Make an Upside-Down Tomato Tart!
Tips for mise en place:
- Tomatoes – halve the tomatoes. I like to split them along the equator. Don’t worry about cutting really tiny ones.
- Shallots – I broke out the mandolin to get even, thin slices. Totally unnecessary, but thinly sliced shallots will seemingly melt into this tart. It’s lovely.
- Garlic – peel the paper away, but do not chop. These go in whole and you’ll mash them later.
- Thyme – strip the leaves from the stem. No need to chop. Save a few whole sprigs for garnish if you’d like.
- Goat cheese – allow it to sit out at room temperature while the tomatoes cook on the stove top. Softened cheese will be easier to mix & mash.
- Puff pastry – thaw frozen puff pastry per the package instructions. I like to thaw on the counter (I set a timer for the exact amount of time required), then place back in the fridge until it’s time to use.
A 10” non-stick, ovenproof skillet is ideal for this recipe. Heat olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, thyme, and honey. Season with sea salt and black pepper, then stir gently to combine (this is the only time you’ll stir the ingredients).
Cook this for about 8 minutes over medium heat. The tomatoes will release a lot of juice during this step. Lower the heat to low and continue cooking for another 10-12 minutes. The juices will begin to evaporate and the tomatoes and shallots will soften and start to caramelize.
During this process, try not to disturb the tomatoes too much. Give the pan a little shake every few minutes to keep things loose.
When there’s just a bit of juice left in the pan, remove it from the burner. Drizzle on a bit more olive oil and with the tip of a spoon, gently make paths for the oil to reach the bottom of the pan. This is extra insurance to help the tart release after baking.
Make Garlicky Goat Cheese
Remove the garlic cloves from the pan and place them in a bowl large enough to also accept the goat cheese. Using a fork, mash the garlic into a paste. Add the goat cheese to the bowl and mash it together with the garlic.
Dot the surface of the cooked tomatoes with dollops of goat cheese.
Cover with Pastry
Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it out until it’s just larger than the opening of your skillet. Lay the pastry across the skillet, then trim the corners so it fits. Prick the surface with a fork or make several cuts with the tip of a knife.
Bake & Serve
Bake the tart in a 400°F oven for 18 to 20 minutes until the pastry is golden. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Place a serving platter over the skillet and using oven mitts (very important!), invert the tart onto the platter. Carefully lift the skillet away.
Serving Suggestions & Helpful Tips
- This tart, cut into 8 wedges, is perfect as an appetizer or starter course. Should you want to enjoy it as a meal, cut it into 4 wedges and serve it with an arugula or mache salad.
- I find that an extra sprinkle of coarse sea salt over the top is delish! You might even like a drizzle of really fruity extra virgin olive oil and some more fresh thyme.
- Before you invert the tart, pull the pastry away from the edges of the pan. The caramelization that continues during baking may make the pastry stick. Also, if a few tomatoes don’t release from the skillet, fear not (it’s happened to me, too)! Use a spatula to get under the tomatoes and flip them over onto the tart. No one will be the wiser.
Linda Feller has been a Plan to Eat superfan since 2013 and will whip out the app to share with anyone who expresses the least bit of interest. She is a recipe developer, food photographer and the gal behind Sip + Sanity, a blog for recipes, entertaining and lifestyle.
FB & Instagram: @sipandsanity
Upside-Down Tomato Tart with Garlicky Goat Cheese
This recipe is perfect when you have an overabundance of tomatoes in your garden. After you've made all the salsas, salads and fresh tomato dishes, switch gears and bake a tart full of concentrated tomato flavor.
Source: Sip + Sanity | Linda Feller for Plan to Eat (Adapted from Tarte Renversée aux Tomatoes Séchées in 'Savoring Provence' by Diane Holuigue for Williams-Sonoma)
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Total Time: 50 min
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 16 oz cherry or grape tomatoes halved (heirloom or a variety of colors are nice)
- 2 shallots sliced thin
- 4 cloves garlic peeled, left whole
- 1⁄2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves only
- coarse sea salt + fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 2 oz fresh goat cheese room temperature
- 1 sheet puff pastry thawed and kept cold
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a 10" oven-proof skillet (non-stick is ideal) over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then add the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, honey and thyme. Season to taste with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Cook for 8 minutes then reduce heat to low and cook another 10-12 minutes until most of the juices have evaporated. A gentle shake of the pan every few minutes is all that's necessary; don't agitate the tomatoes too much.
- Drizzle on the remaining olive oil. Use the edge of a wooden spoon to make the holes for the oil to seep through to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the garlic cloves to a bowl (leaving everything else in the skillet). Use a fork to smash the garlic into a paste. Add soft goat cheese and stir to combine. Dot the surface of the tomatoes with dollops of garlic goat cheese.
- Dust a work surface with flour. Remove the puff pastry from the fridge and roll it out so it is just wider than the opening of your skillet. Lay the pastry over the top of the skillet and trim it to fit the opening (kitchen shears are great for this task). Prick the surface of the pastry with a fork, or cut several slits with the tip of knife.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for a couple minutes. Using oven mitts, place a platter or serving dish over the skillet and flip everything over, releasing the tart onto the dish. Carefully lift the skillet away.
- Cut into 8 wedges. If desired, sprinkle with a touch of coarse sea salt before serving.