There were two tomato tarts vying for my attention. One of them was small and round and beautiful with various colors of cherry tomatoes on top. It was made with homemade pastry. The other was a delectable, large rectangle covered with red cherry tomatoes and herbs. That one was built on a base of store-bought puff pastry. In the end, my laziness won out, and using puff pastry from the store was the deciding factor. I did find a pretty mix of colorful, local, cherry tomatoes, so I achieved the look of the other tart somewhat. This herbed tomato tart is from The New Comfort Food. The simple look of the tomato topping belies the hidden combination of flavors. Before the tomatoes were placed on the tart, shredded parmigiano cheese was added and baked onto the pastry layer. Also, you'd never pick out the singular taste of anchovies here since they were finely chopped and tossed with the tomatoes before roasting, but they add an addictive, savory note. With rich, buttery pastry, sweet, roasted tomatoes, and the hidden umami of the cheese and anchovies, this tart tasted even better than expected.
Since I chose to make this out of laziness, it's obviously not difficult to prepare, but there are three steps to the process. First, two sheets of puff pastry were fitted into a sheet pan, docked and weighted to prevent puffing, and baked for 25 minutes. The pie weights were removed, and shredded parmigiano was spread over the tart shell. It baked for an additional 15 minutes. Then, the cherry tomatoes were tossed with olive oil, finely chopped anchovies, and I added a little minced garlic. The mixture was roasted under the broiler for about 12 minutes, and the pan was shaken a few times while roasting to turn the tomatoes. Last, the tart shell was filled with the tomato mixture, chopped basil, chives, and oregano were sprinkled on top, and it was baked for a last and final 15 minutes.
Even though the base of the pastry bakes up thin, and the toppings are mostly just fresh tomatoes and herbs, this is a rich and filling tart. The decadent, buttery, sweet, and savory flavors are perfect with a crisp, light salad, and a glass of wine. I'm glad my laziness got the better of me since I ended up learning the secrets of the hidden, big flavor in this simple tart.