When life gives you green tomatoes...make a green tomato tart with! Retired from hobby farming, I am no longer raising vegetables, but I bummed some green tomatoes from my neighbors. I made Fried Green Tomatoes as well as my Green Tomato and Gruyère Tart. Both recipes make great use of those tomatoes that won't ripen before the weather changes. But, why wait? Pull green tomatoes off the vine and use them all summer!
- Green Tomatoes: Use firm, unripened green tomatoes. You can also use green varieties of Heirloom tomatoes. Your tart will still be a pretty green color, but will be a little sweeter.
- Balsamic Vinegar: I like to use a nice aged Balsamic vinegar in this recipe. The green tomatoes are very tart and the lower quality balsamics are too acidic. Just my preference, use what you have, and you probably won't notice the difference.
- Puff Pastry: You can't go wrong with frozen puff pastry dough. Unless you just want to spend a good amount of quality time in the kitchen, save yourself and use frozen. It works best if you thaw it in the refrigerator and use it before it warms up to room temperature.
- Gruyère Cheese: I always use Gruyère cheese in this type of tart but you could substitute another dry grated cheese or even Swiss. The Gruyere melts perfectly though and imparts a wonderful nutty flavor.
Let's make a Green Tomato and Gruyère Tart:
Start by washing the tomatoes, allowing them to dry, coring , and chopping them into 1" pieces. Notice here that some of my tomatoes are just staring to ripen. Those are the ones with red light red flesh. The one with the orange flesh is a ripe, but green colored Heirloom variety tomato. I used what I had!
Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to the bowl with the chopped tomatoes and mix well to evenly coat.
Lay the tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Pour the drippings over the top.
Sprinkle sugar over the tomatoes to help them caramelize and to add some much needed sweetness. Halve the amount of sugar if using vine ripened Heirloom tomatoes.
Roast the tomatoes in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. They will finish cooking in the baking process.
Remove the sheet pan from the oven from the oven and immediately place the roasted tomatoes and the juice in a bowl to stop the cooking process. Cool, uncovered in the refrigerator, until well chilled. You do not want to put hot toppings onto the puff pastry.
Remove the thawed puff pastry from the refrigerator and unfold. Use a sharp knife to cut ½" to ¾" strips from all sides. Brush egg white on the edges and place the strips on top. This will create a little raised edge to hold the ingredients in.
Lightly press your cut strips to be sure they are adhered to the bottom crust.
Brush the inside bottom of the pastry lightly with olive oil. Place the grated Gruyère cheese into the tart, reserving a small amount for the top. Arrange the tomato chunks over the cheese without overlapping them. Pour the juice over the top making sure not to get too much in one spot. Bake in a 375 degree oven until the pastry puffs up, the filling bubbles and thickens, and the pastry is a nice golden brown. Watch for large air pockets that form in the bottom of the tart. They can cause leaking and burning. Use a wooden skewer to pop large air bubbles and continue baking. Check your tart before the end of the baking time. If there seems to be too much liquid, carefully remove from the oven, dab the top with a folded paper towel to absorb some of the juice, return the tart to the oven and finish baking. I don't always have to do this, but sometimes the tomatoes are extra juicy!
Cool for 5 minutes then use a large spatula to move the tart to a drying rack or serving tray. I like a really crispy crust, so I opt for the drying rack instead of the plate. This tart can be eaten warm or at room temperature. If I'm being honest, now would be the time to admit I have eaten it cold from the refrigerator the next morning for breakfast.
- 3 medium-sized (firm, green tomatoes, cored and cubed)
- 3 TBS balsamic vinegar
- 2 TBS olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 2 TBS granulated sugar
- 1 rectangle frozen puff pastry dough (thawed but still chilled)
- 1 egg white
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
- Toss the cubed tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Pour the liquid from the bowl over the top. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the granulated sugar. You can omit this the sugar but it does help with caramelization and reduces the tartness. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Cut ½" to ¾' of puff pastry from the edges. Brush the edge with egg white and place the cut strips on edges to form a well. Brush the inside of the well with olive oil. Spread the grated cheese in an even layer inside the well. Save a bit of cheese for the top. Place the roasted tomatoes on the cheese and pour any of the liquid left in the pan over the top. Sprinkle the reserved cheese on the tomatoes. Place the tart on a roasting pan in a 375 degree oven until the pastry puffs up and becomes golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.