Sheep’s Cheese, Tomato and Thyme Tart
I have a long lasting love affair with the combination of sheep’s cheese and tomatoes. In Romanian cuisine, it’s sort of a traditional staple, especially when spring onion is added. It’s widely popular in the summertime, when the tomatoes are juicy and ripe.
I was really craving for this taste, but with tomato season being long gone, I needed to make a variation. Also, since it’s winter, I decided to indulge and let some carbs in. Even if I’m not a big fan of store-bought puff pastry and making my own seems like a sort of punishment, I found an organic one marked Bio and made with butter, so I used that.
You can however make your own puff pastry or get the regular kind. Either way, this dish is pure delight, I guarantee. Also, it’s something you can throw together in under half an hour and it also looks pretty nice.
Sheep’s Cheese, Tomato and Basil Tart
1 sheet puff pastry
A little olive oil
1/2 tsp polenta
300 gr/10 oz cherry tomatoes (about 20)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Beaten egg, for egg wash
100 gr crumbled sheep’s cheese
1tsp dried thyme or a handful of fresh sprigs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and scatter the polenta on top. On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a rectangle, about 8 mm thick. Use a sharp knife to score a 1,5 cm border around the edges of the pastry, to allow them to rise; prick the center of the tart with a fork and brush the edges with egg wash.
Scatter the garlic over the pastry, then arrange the cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add a little bit of olive oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down. Take the tart out of the oven, add the crumbled cheese and the thyme and return for another 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the puff pastry is lightly brown. Serve with a nice simple green salad. I used valerian leaves, but I think arugula would be really nice as well.