This is a favorite recipe of mine to make for gatherings as it is so simple to put together, easy to transport, tastes absolutely scrumptious, and is pretty on the eyes. Whoa. Did I just write pretty on the eyes? Sounds like I’m trying to sell you on a a blind-date!
Well, this dish doesn’t need much selling: What’s not to love about crunchy puff pastry layered with creamy garlicky goat cheese topped with sweet ‘n tart tomatoes? Mmm, I could eat the picture right now. Funny enough, I accidentally printed out the tart photo and my son Wee Scotch did try to eat it. Babies love to put anything and everything into their mouths. But from the look on his face, he certainly didn’t enjoy the paper version as much as the real thing.
Most recently, I made this tart for a picnic where a group of Dubai food lovers/bloggers got together to socialize and to have some fun in Safa park. We all had a great time and there was plenty of food to feast on.
My son and I made a good team – I sampled and enjoyed all the savory items and he gobbled up all the sweet ones.
I couldn’t get enough of Sally of My Custard Pie’s spiced butternut squash frittatas nor her ginger-chocolate cookies. Sid of Spontaneous Euphoria made colorful tea sandwiches with spicy pesto and ketchup that were very addictive. I kept going back for more while Wee Scotch devoured her corn muffins. I love spicy foods and found myself constantly snacking up Anja’s feta-stuffed peppadews while my son stuffed his sweet little face with her rosewater-scented pistachio cake and even helped himself to her avocado chocolate truffles.
Lin from Ballpark It! brought over roasted cherry tomatoes (grown in her own backyard!) in a fizzy jar of olive oil, basil and garlic as well as banana and lemon muffins. And in my opinion, no picnic is complete unless there are chips and salsa which Kari of Chef and Steward thankfully provided in the form of Reggae Salsa with toasted pita chips.
While yours truly was busying herself with round two of food helpings and a couple more of Mrs. DubaiMoves’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, Wee Scotch quietly sat on his picnic mat, thoughtfully chewing and tasting all the desserts that were placed in front of him. Sukaina of Sips and Spoonfuls made a strawberry and hazel nut cake with mascarpone frosting that was a big hit with him as well as Arva of I Live in a Frying Pan’s carrot cake cookies, cream cheese sandwiches, and halloumi and zaatar biscuits. We both tried and loved Edwinna of My Mezzaluna’s zucchini and chocolate cake.
But based on all the “mm-mm” sounds that came out of him, I think his all-time favorite of the day were the tarts. No, not his mother’s goat cheese tomato tarts (where’s the love!?) but Yasmin of Red Panda Bake’s mini chocolate pudding tarts! Mm-mm good.
Sarah of The Hedonista arrived just in time for me to begin a third round of food helpings starting with 2 (okay 3) of her spicy chicken wraps and afterwards another 2 (okay 3) of her melba toasts with pickled beet, goat cheese and curried onion jam. For the kiddies she made fried chicken sandwiches and just when I thought he couldn’t eat any more, Wee Scotch, who seems to have inherited my insatiable appetite for food, ate 2 of them!
So as you can see there was no lack of delicious food and combined with the lovely Dubai weather in March and the excellent company – it was a perfect weekend afternoon!
* * * * *
Ingredients for Goat Cheese Tomato Tart:
400 grams puff pastry
150 grams soft and creamy goat cheese
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 plum or beefsteak tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
I use Sunbulah brand puff pastry (produced in Saudi Arabia) as it is easily available at every grocery store in Dubai and costs about 9 dhs which is cheaper than the imported brands from Europe. Remember to start defrosting the puff pastry a couple of hours before you begin assembling the tart.
Pre-heat oven to 180 C (350 F).
On a slightly oiled baking sheet (I spray mine with Pam), roll out the puff pastry. My baking sheet is small so when rolled out, the pastry measures 33 cm x 20 cm (13 in x 8.5 in). You can roll yours larger but you will need extra goat cheese and tomatoes if rolled out too big.
Score a border about 1 cm from the edge of the pastry – being careful not to cut through – this will help puff up the edges and to keep the filling inside the pastry.
For the goat cheese, I like to buy the ones that have herbs already mixed in. The chives one is especially nice with the fresh garlic. In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, minced garlic, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Using a butter knife, spread the cheese mixture evenly onto the puff pastry (keeping inside the scored line).
Cut the tomatoes into 3-5 mm (1/4 in) slices and place next to each other on top of the goat cheese - overlap the tomatoes slightly as they will shrink in the oven. I like to use my Zyliss mandolin set to level 3 to get even slices but the tomatoes will have to be firm, otherwise they will fall apart on the mandolin. Currently, there are UAE beefsteak tomatoes in the markets that are just perfect for this tart.
Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top of the tomatoes. Bake 45-50 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the tomatoes are lightly charred.
Slice with a pizza cutter if you have one. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!