The tomatoes are finally shining around here, and I’ve been serving them up in plain slabs, naked and unadorned save for a dusting of salt and pepper. After awhile, I figured even perfect tomatoes might like to get a little dressed up, if tomatoes could make such decisions. Put some heels on and twirl around a bit. And if a BLT (oh, Lordy, how I love a good BLT) is like a perfectly worn-in pair of jeans, this pretty tart fits like a favorite little black dress, easy and elegant.
Harmonizing rich (buttery puff dough) with briney (capers, olives), sweet (caramelized onions) and aromatic (fresh thyme), the tart’s components come together to highlight the layered sing-song of late-summer tomatoes, with their own balance of sweet and sour, ethereal fragrance and meaty heft. Serve the tart with a brightly dressed salad of arugula, herbs and cherry tomatoes as a cheerful first course or as a substantial, meat-free main dish.
Tomato Tart with Caramelized Onions, Capers & Anchovies
adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin, 2005;
serves 9 as a first course, less as a main
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 6 C thinly slice onions (about 1.5 lb)
- 1 Tbsp thyme leaves
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, defrosted
- 3 medium heirloom tomatoes (about 1.5 lb), cored
- 4 anchovy fillets, minced
- 2 tsp capers, rinsed & drained
- 1/4 C Niçoise olives, pitted, cut in half
- salt and pepper
Defrost the puff dough in the fridge, about 2-3 hours or per your package instructions.
In a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, onions, 2 tsp thyme, 1 tsp salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring often. Turn down the heat to medium, add the butter and cook about 15 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan as you go, about 15 minutes until deep golden brown. Let cool. (You can do this ahead.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the defrosted puff dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. With a sharp paring knife, score a border (don’t cut all the way through) about 1/8″ from the edge. Pierce the dough inside the rectangle repeatedly with a fork, in about 1/2″ intervals; docking the dough will keep it from puffing up too much and will form the tart’s border. Bake until tart begins to turn golden brown, 15-18 minutes.
Spread the caramelized onions within the border. Scatter the anchovy over top. Slice the tomatoes into 1/4″ slices and place on top of the onions without overlapping. (You’ll have onions peeking through; cut the tomatoes in half to fit, if needed.) Season with 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper. Arrange the capers and olives and remaining thyme.
Bake the tart 10 minutes. Turn the sheet pan and bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, another 10-12 minutes. Serve warm with a brightly dressed salad.
Note: I used Kalamatas in lieu of Niçoise olives, and would probably slice them thinner or even chop them next time around. And I never did find that elusive jar of capers in my fridge. C’est la vie, y’all.