French Tomato Onion Tart

This savory tart features summer tomatoes at their best and is delicious served warm or at room temperature. The recipe below makes two large tarts or one sheet pan. Any leftovers warm beautifully for lunch the next day.

INGREDIENTS:

For Pastry:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
12 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
3/4 cup ice water

For Filling:
4 large onions, sliced thinly
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound cream cheese, softened
1/2 pound chevre cheese or feta cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2- 2 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, red and yellow, cut into 1/2″ wedges
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and cut into small pieces
Sugar, salt and freshly ground pepper

METHOD: 

For Pastry:
In processor bowl, put flour, salt, butter. Process using short pulses until fine particles of butter and flour form. It should resemble a coarse meal. Add ice water. Process just long enough to combine slightly and dough starts to form.

Turn dough out onto floured parchment paper and gather into ball. Knead the dough 3 or 4 times. Press into flattened rectangle, wrap tightly and chill for at least 10-15 minutes to allow dough to rest.

On a floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll dough out to fit half sheet rimmed baking pan, about 1/8 inch thick. Fold over and transfer dough to pan. Unfold and ease dough to fit. Push dough against sides of pan to form a neat rim.

NOTE: This pastry recipe makes enough for two large tart pans, if you prefer. Divide dough in half, and shape into two round balls. Press into disk shape, chill. 

Bake crust at 425°F until lightly golden. Set aside and prepare filling.

Filling:

Sauté onions in large, heavy pan over medium heat until onions are limp and caramelized. Season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In food processor, combine cream cheese and choice of cheese and thyme until thoroughly creamed together. Spread cheese mixture thinly on par-baked tart shell.

Next, spread the caramelized onions over entire surface.

Top the caramlized onion mixture with rows of tomato wedges, alternating tomato colors as desired. Sprinkle evenly with Kalamata olive pieces. Add a VERY light sprinkle of sugar, salt and pepper over tomatoes.

Place tart in middle rack of oven and bake for about one hour. Cool on rack a few minutes before serving.

YIELD: Makes 1/2 sheet pan, approximately 16 servings.