On the way home from work the other day, as I walked past the corner fruit-and-vegetable seller, I noticed he was arranging tomatoes for his sidewalk display. Upon closer inspection, I saw that they were some very cool, dark green kumato tomatoes, and I picked one up. The man asked me if I was familiar with these tomatoes. I responded in the affirmative and he informed me that these were very good. So I picked up another one. And another one. Soon my hands were full, but the man had the foresight to go and get me a bag, which I filled to my heart’s content. Two and a half euros later, I was the proud owner of an almost- kilo of kumato tomatoes.
I’ll admit this wasn’t a completely random purchase. I did have a recipe in mind when I saw them – Clotilde’sTomato Tarte Tatin recipe from her book, Chocolat & Zucchini. (I have the French version, but I assume it’s in the English versions, too.) I have a hard time leaving recipes alone, however, so I riffed on the idea of a roasted tomato tart baked with a crust on top, Tatin-style.
I love the way roasting brings out the deep sweetness and enhances the complexity of fruits and vegetables. And I’ve done some good things with roasted tomatoes in the past. These particular tomatoes, probably due to their being all squished together in my tart dish, took a lot longer to start getting roast-y than I anticipated. I eventually had to very carefully pour out some of the excess liquid from the dish so that we could have dinner before 11 pm. (Not that that’s entirely abnormal in France, but my alarm goes off at 5 am.)
While the tomatoes were roasting, I smeared a round of puff pastry with the contents of a whole head of roasted garlic which I had made a day or two before. The pastry was store bought because I was feeling too lazy to make my own pâte brisée, but I think I’ll make the effort next time. Even the supposedly all-butter pastry has a weird chemical taste that has no place on my dinner plate.
Anyway, once the tomatoes began to dry a bit, I dolloped fresh goat cheese over them, like so:
…set the garlic-smeared pastry over the top, and baked it until the crust was golden brown. When it was done, I carefully inverted it onto my sheet pan (the only thing in my kitchen large enough to hold it, other than the dish in which it was baked). I sprinkled the top with toasted pine nuts, and, accompanied by a green salad, dinner was served.
Originally published on Croque-Camille.