Appetizers/Starters, Dinner, Lunch

Cherry Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Caprese Tart

I’ve been working on perfecting some “from scratch” and quick lunch recipes. This one is almost from scratch (meaning, I used puff pastry so that was store bought, but everything else was from scratch). A little less than 40 minutes from “still in the fridge” (though you do need to take out the puff from the freezer) to “completely devoured”. Plus that includes the photography time. I did burn my mouth though from one of the tomatoes bursting. I probably should have waiting a few more minutes before eating, but I was hungry.

This is a great tart for this time of the year when cherry tomatoes are so plentiful in the garden and at the farmer’s markets, but actually can be made year round because cherry toms are reliably decent even at other times of the year.

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 pound (about 50) multicolored cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 ounces mini fresh mozzarella balls
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the puff pastry in the center of the baking sheet and brush all over with the egg. Form a crust by folding over the edges about a 1/2 inch, then brush the edges with egg. Use a paring knife to cut the folded edges and corners. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese, then poke the dough all over with a fork, making sure to go the whole way through the dough. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack (it will go back in the oven so do not remove the tart from the pan yet.

Lower the oven temperature to 350F.

Place the cherry tomatoes, the mozzarella balls, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and olive oil in a bowl. Mix to coat the tomatoes and cheese evenly. Once the tart is out of the oven, artfully arrange the cherry tomatoes and mini- mozzarella balls in the tart. You can also just dump them on in a single layer, but I wanted to make more of checker-board pattern. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with basil. Slide the tart onto a cutting board, slice into pieces and serve.

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