This is an amazing little tart, layered with caramelised onions, oven dried tomatoes and feta. I make it as 4 individual tarts and serve with a green salad and a vegetable salad.
Not only does it taste sensational but it looks simply stunning and unusual.
The taste of the tomatoes is intense, due to the very slow drying of them beforehand. The pie is fragrant with fresh basil, sumac and parsley. Delicious!
Not a fast food, this one. It does take some time to prepare, due primarily to the slow baking of the tomatoes. Best to prepare the tomatoes, pastry and onions the night before and assemble and cook when you need it.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series.
UPDATE 2019: A friend of mine let me know that this recipe is Marieke Brugman’s Tomato Tarte Tatin from the 1980’s, perhaps even earlier. It is wonderful to know its origin.
12 – 18 large roma or egg tomatoes
2 tspn sumac
2 tspn sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 tspn sugar (or as needed)
20 or so basil leaves, finely chopped
0.25 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 red onions, finely sliced
50 ml olive oil
200 g creamy feta, goats cheese or sheep’s cheese
120 g plain flour
100g cubed butter
60 g thick sour cream, or more as needed
for the tomatoes
Split the tomatoes lengthwise and place skin side down in a single layer on a baking slide lined with baking paper, or in a low sided dish. Evenly scatter the sumac, salt flakes, pepper and sugar over the cut surface. Adjust the amount of sugar according to the tartness of the tomatoes. In late summer, early autumn, tomatoes are at their best so will need less sugar. Early in the season they will need more.
Place in a low (120C) oven for four hours until the tomatoes have dried a little and have lightly caramelised. They should look like very plump dried apricots. Cool, cover and refrigerate until needed.
for the onions:
Combine finely sliced onions and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until well caramelised and much reduced in volume. Strain through a sieve and reserve the olive oil for vinaigrette dressings. Cool the onions, cover and refrigerate until needed.
for the pastry:
Combine flour, cubed butter and sour cream in a food processor or by hand, mixing just until the mixture knots into a ball around the blade. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Bring the pastry close to room temperature by leaving out of the fridge for 20 or so minutes.
Line the base of a 28 cm non stick circular mould, pie dish or caste iron skillet that is 4 cm deep, with baking paper, or oil well. You can also use 4 individual small pie dishes. Place the tomatoes flesh side down into tight concentric circles in the base of the dish. Finely shred the basil and scatter with the parsley over the tomatoes. Distribute the drained onions sparingly over the tomatoes. Cover with fine slices of cheese.
Roll the pastry 2cms wider than the pie plate. Place pastry on top of the pie dish and push down around the edges so that a “lip” is formed around the tomatoes. Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 220C . Bake the pie for about 25 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp. Invert the pie (tarte) onto a large flat plate and serve within 30 minutes with a beautiful green salad.