Tomato Tart Tatin
From Chef Daniel Boulud: Cooking in New York City by Daniel Boulud and Peter Kaminsky (Assouline 2002)
Adapted by

Yield: 8 Servings


    Pistou Sauce:
  • 8 ounces basil leaves, washed
  • ½ clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 teaspoon grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Puff Pastry:
  • 1 pound frozen puff pastry
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water

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

    Caramelized Onions:
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Herb Goat Cheese:
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons mascarpone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons pistou sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chives, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Frisée Salad:
  • 2 small heads frisée, trimmed, washed and dried
  • 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
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For Pistou Sauce:
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 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. This recipe makes 1 cup. The extra sauce can be used to toss with pasta or as a spread on toasted croutons or sandwiches.)

For Puff Pastry:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400° F. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg and water to make an egg wash. 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 4 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 – 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For Tomatoes:
To remove excess moisture from the tomatoes, place the tomato 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 and transfer to oven. Cook until the tomatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Using the back of a spoon, press the tomatoes flat.

For Caramelized Onions:
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 Herb Goat Cheese:
In a small bowl, mix together the goat and mascarpone cheeses, heavy cream, pistou sauce, shallots, chives, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

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

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 salad on top. Drizzle the pistou sauce around the plate.

Wine Selection:
Côteaux du Languedoc (France), Domaine les Aurelles-Aurel 1998. The acidity of the tomatoes and texture of the cheese work well with this rich, low-acid blend of Roussane and Marsanne from the south of France.


   Published: September 2005