RECIPE: Oven dried tomatoes, caramelized onions and olive cheese pie
Summer is all about tomatoes. And there are so many ways to prepare them to get there full enjoyment. We wished to do just that a few weeks ago when my husband and I tried a complex tomato tart. We spent all day making the crust, grilling zuccini, prepping the filling. And sadly, when we finally tasted it, it was subpar. As we discussed how we could make it better, we talked about maybe oven drying the tomatoes next time, and making the filling cheesier. So a couple weeks later, I ran across an old Bon Appetit from 2005 with a whole section on tomato recipe. And wouldn't you know it? There was a tomato tart using homemade oven dried tomatoes. I added caramelized onions as a sweet, earthy touch. I also upped the herbs, added some different cheeses and lengthened the oven drying time. It ended up being delicious! The use of puff pastry makes the crust super easy to make. The one change I made to this recipe versus the photo is that I would roughly chop the tomatoes and olives before adding them next time versus keeping them whole. It makes the pie a lot easier to cut and eat.
Oven Dried Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions and Olive Cheese Pie
5-8 Tbsp. olive oil
6 medium plum or roma tomatoes, cut in half and seeded
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
2-3 small sprigs thyme per tomato
salt and pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defosted at room temp
1 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup grated whole milk Mozzarella
4 oz. fresh goat cheese, room temp
2 large eggs
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup pitted oil-cured Kalmata olives
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan, plus 1 Tbsp. more for sprinkling on top
1 Tbsp. soft cream cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 300˚. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush with olive oil. Cut tomatoes in half, core and seed them. Place them, cut side up, on the foil. Drizzle olive oil generously on each tomato half about 1/2 Tbsp. per half. Sprinkle garlic, salt and pepper evenly over the tomatoes. Place the Sprigs over each tomato, breaking them up as you go, about 2-3 sprigs per half. Roast the slowly in the oven for three hours. Let them sit out to cool. Roughly chop them once cooled and set aside.
Melt the butter in a small saute pan with the olive oil. Put the onions in the pan. Saute slowly for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown in color. Toss them a little as they cook. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix the mozzarella with the goat cheese with the back of a spatula. Add the cream cheese and mush some more. Using a fork or whisk, whip the eggs into the cheeses until creamy. Whisk in the cream, then the parmesan. Whisk in the chopped 1 Tbsp. thyme, ground pepper and salt. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready. Roughly chop your olives. Set aside
Preheat oven to 375˚. Roll the puff pastry between plastic wrap lightly dusted in flour. Roll until it can fit in a 9" pie pan with a 1" overhang. Place in the pan. Pierce the crust with the tines of a fork. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. When ready, cover the crust with the parchment and pour pie weights or beans in the middle. Bake pie for about 20 min. on the middle rack. Take the pie out to take the weights and parchment out. Pierce any puffs or bubbles gently with a fork. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until bottom crust is golden. Take out to cool for 10 min. Lower oven to 350˚.
Pour the cheese mixture into the crust. Sprinkle the caramelized onions on top, then sprinkle with basil. Chop roughly the tomatoes and lay them on top of the cheese. Place the olives in the cheese in between the tomatoes. Give the top one last sprinkle of cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Tent with foil with a steam hole if crust is browning too fast. Be sure to take it off the last 10 min. of cooking. Serve warm.
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