Oh, yes! The Caramelised Garlic and Tomato Tart Tatin has finally arrived at Garlic Matters! This beautiful, vegetarian, rich and full of mellow garlic flavour dish is another fantastic idea I found at the “Garlic, The Mighty Bulb” cookbook, by Natasha Edwards. This recipe takes advantage of a ready-rolled puff pastry sheet and a clever flip trick guaranteeing a crusty bottom.
The intense and flavoursome filling of the Caramelised Garlic and Tomato Tart Tatin is enriched with crumbled feta cheese. This relatively softly textured cheese offers just the right amount of saltiness and acidity to complement the tomatoes and mushy, sweet and earthy garlic.
I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for ages now, but with a brain like a sieve I kept forgetting to get the puff pastry or some other recipe took over at the time. Anyway, Caramelised Garlic and Tomato Tart Tatin is now here. And I am glad, because it was long overdue (and Kimberly knows it was – she asked me about a tart months ago! Sorry, I took so long K!). So, I cooked it, photographed it and ate it the same afternoon. It is a seriously tasty eat for all garlic lovers and the technique of caramelised garlic also comes in handy for future experiments in the kitchen.
On that subject, some time ago I watched a show with Martha Stewart, where a British (he also has Israeli and Italian nationality, which probably helps him to marry these cousins really nicely) chef Yotam Ottolenghi cooked a Caramelized Garlic Tart with 2 types of goats cheese and egg custard. Look this video up, it’s hard not to dribble… My review is coming your way very, very soon! (Promise! Especially since I am now stocked up with puff pastry for probably a year!).
Chef Ottolenghi used the same method to caramelise garlic as the one Natasha shared in her book. And if you don’t have brown sugar on hand, you might want to use maple syrup, as I came across in Inez Valk-Kempthorne’s Caramelized Garlic, Spinach, and Cheddar Tart recipe featured in Bon Appetit last year. Either way, that not quite full tablespoon of sugar or tablespoon of maple syrup instead makes a massive difference to the caramelised garlic flavour. It really helps to round things up, especially if your tomatoes are not at their sweetest, as I found with mine.
Caramelised Garlic and Tomato Tart Tatin melts in the mouth
Overall, I agree with Natasha; the Caramelised Garlic and Tomato Tart Tatin ”melts in the mouth and makes an impressive dinner-party starter or summer lunch dish.” The definite bonus is that the preparation takes only about 20 minutes, before the tart goes in the oven and it bakes to perfect golden brown in 25 minutes.
Did I tell you today I love garlic?
- 3 garlic bulbs (30 cloves), cloves peeled, but left whole
- Olive oil
- 200 ml water
- 1 tablespoon balsamic
- ¾ tablespoon brown sugar (or 1 tablespoon of maple syrup)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dry
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dry
- 1 teaspoon salt
- olive oil
- 4 ripe plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise or a punnet (about 30) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (or maple syrup)
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Ready - rolled puff pastry sheet, cut to fit over a 9 inch ovenproof frying pan
- 1 egg, beaten
- 250g (9oz) feta cheese, crumbled
- Springs of fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 200C/392F.
- In a small pan, cover garlic cloves with water and bring up to boil. Simmer for 3 minutes, then drain and dry cloves and the pan.
- Return garlic to the pan, add a glug of oil and fry until golden brown, for about 5 minutes. Add the water and balsamic vinegar and boil until most of the liquid evaporated, about 10 minutes.
- On a large plate mix a glug of olive oil with the brown sugar and plenty of salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes, cut side down, into the oil mixture and make sure each face is well covered. Heat a small glug of olive oil in the ovenproof frying pan and transfer the tomatoes, cut side down, into the pan. Fry for about 5min, or until they start to go sticky, then remove from the heat. Reserve.
- Add the sugar, herbs and salt to the pan with garlic and continue to fry until the cloves begin to turn light brown. Remove from the heat and transfer the cloves to the frying pan and arrange around the tomatoes.
- Place the ready-rolled puff pastry sheet over the tomatoes and garlic, tucking the edges of the pastry neatly into the pan. Brush with the beaten egg, then place in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
- Take a large heatproof serving plate and place over the pan. Protecting your hands with oven mitts and holding the plate and pan firmly together, carefully flip the pan and the plate, then lift off the pan. Sprinkle with the feta cheese and garnish with a thyme sprig or two.
Fancy something sweeter? How about Caramelised Garlic and Pear Tartlets I shared just about a year ago? Same technique, but with a sweet and fruity twist. (I must retake pictures of this recipe – my equipment and skills have definitely improved since!) Or maybe my midweek best friend, Easy Gluten Free Plum Tart instead?