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Jean François Bruel
rising stars
November 2002 NEW YORK
Tomato Tart Tatin
By Chef Jean Francois Bruel, adapted from Chef Daniel Boulud: Cooking in New York City (Assouline, 2002).
Adapted by StarChefs


Suggested wine pairing: Côteaux du Languedoc, Domaine des Aurelles-Aurel 1998

Yield:
8 appetizer servings

For the Pistou Sauce: (1 cup)

  • 2 bunches fresh basil (about 8 ounces), leaves only, washed
  • 1/2 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon pine nuts, very lightly toasted
  • 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Plunge the basil into the boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain the leaves and hold under running cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain, and squeeze the leaves of excess water.

Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment. Process until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. (The pistou can be made one day ahead. The extra sauce can be used to toss with pasta or as a spread on toasted croutons or sandwiches.)

For the Puff Pastry:

  • 1 pound frozen puff pastry Egg wash,
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll the puff pastry to a 3/16-inch thickness. Using a 4-inch round cutter, cut the dough into 8 discs. Place the discs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Brush the discs with egg wash. Dock the dough by pricking the surface with a fork. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the Tomatoes:

  • 10 large plum tomatoes, cut crosswise into
  • 1/8-inch thick slices
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

To remove excess moisture from the tomatoes, place the tomatoes slices in an even layer on baking sheets lined with several layers of paper towels or kitchen towels. Season the tomatoes with salt. Allow the slices to drain in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Brush ½ tablespoon of the olive oil in the bottoms of four 4-inch nonstick round tart pans. Arrange the tomato slices in an overlapping circle, about 12 per pan. Season with salt and pepper. Place the pans onto a baking sheet until the tomatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Using the back of a spoon, press the tomatoes flat.

For the Caramelized Onions:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, (about 7 ounces each) peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions start to caramelize, 10 to 15 minutes. When brown, remove and set aside.

For the Herb Goat Cheese:

  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons mascarpone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Pistou Sauce (see recipe above)
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a small bowl, mix together the goat and mascarpone cheeses, heavy cream, pistou sauce, shallots, chives, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Frisée Salad:

  • 2 small heads frisée, white and light yellow parts only, trimmed, washed and dried or ¼ pound mesclun
  • 8 small white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup kalamata olives (about 16), pitted and halved
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 Tablespoons chervil leaves
  • 8 chives, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, toss together the frisée, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, chervil, chives, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Assemble and Serve:
Place a scoop of the goat cheese mixture in the center of the warm tomatoes. Divide the warm caramelized onions evenly over the goat cheese and top with a puff pastry circle.

Invert each tomato tart onto the center of each plate and remove the molds. If necessary, use a spoon and gently tap the bottom of the molds to release the tatins. Place a small mound of the frisée-mushroom salad on top. Drizzle the pistou sauce around the plate.

 
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