There is nothing better in the summer than a good sliced tomato sprinkled with salt and pepper. But, that window of opportunity to have those mouth-watering slices is so short. During the winter I crave those tomatoes as I’m sure you also do. There are a couple of recipes that I pull out of my back pocket to satisfy the tomato craving and this is one of them. I have gone through my cookbook collection marking recipes with post it notes that I want to try. If I cooked something new everyday for the rest of my life I am pretty sure that I would not get to all of the ones on my list, but thank goodness I tried this one. When I read Paula’s headline that a catering friend of hers used this recipe all the time in Savannah, Georgia I knew it had to be a winner. I was right! It is easy, good, pretty on a platter and it makes a winter tomato taste as good as the summer!
It’s not hard to put these tarts together at all, but will take you about 20 minutes to get them ready for the oven so keep that in mind if you are making them for company. Since one of the main ingredients is frozen puff pastry you will need to thaw this ahead of time. I just pull it out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes. You have to be careful that it doesn’t sit out much longer because if it gets too warm you cannot work with it.
A tip from Paula that you should keep in mind is to take your biscuit cutter that you will use to cut the pastry to the store when buying your tomatoes. The tomatoes will need to be the same size as the pastry. This is very important! With that said let’s get started on another recipe that I just love from Paula Deen.
Tomato Tarts from Paula Deen
Yield: about 16 pastries
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
- all-purpose flour, for rolling
- olive oil, for brushing
- 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 or 5 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices (tomato slices should be the same diameter as your biscuit cutter)
- black pepper, ground
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped fine
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
- Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and allow it to thaw for 20 minutes.
- Unfold the pastry on the counter and roll down, using enough flour to prevent sticking.
- Brush the dough with olive oil and, using a 1 1/2 or 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough.
- Place the puff pastry rounds on the prepared baking sheet and poke the surface of the pastry with a fork.
- Top each round with a small amount of the cheddar, then with a tomato slice.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over the tomato, and then sprinkle on a pinch of parsley and about 1 teaspoon of Parmesan.
- Bake for about 15 minutes. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.