Fall’s arrival brings some mixed feelings. The extremely tolerable weather is delightful, but it is very sad to say goodbye to tomato season. Tomato tartlets are a perfect way to enjoy tomatoes and cool weather. They are pockets of perfect deliciousness with the late season ingredients speaking for themselves. Enjoy with some red wine and a green salad.
If you have the time, caramelized onions are really, really delicious, and so very easy to make. Likewise with tapenade. If you are vegan (hello NV!), you can use yeast, sugar, 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons water, 4 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and 1 3/4 cups flour for the dough.
for the dough
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm milk
1 room temperature egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons room temperature butter
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 cup flour
for the filling
2 lbs. heirloom tomatoes, seeded and sliced thin, or pierced if cherry tomatoes
1 or 2 large onions, sliced, and cooked with butter over low heat until slightly browned, 45 minutes or more.
Several sprigs rosemary
Several sprigs thyme
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup tapenade (in our case, a handful of olives crushed with capers, sardines and a dash of olive oil)
Place the yeast, sugar, and warm milk in a large bowl and stir gently. Place in a warm corner for 10 minutes. Once foamy, add the egg and salt, and then the butter. Slowly add the flour. Knead until dough is smooth, 4-5 minutes. Place dough into lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and set aside in a warm corner. Allow to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Once dough has risen, divide into six equal parts, cover and allow to sit for another 15 minutes.
Roll each round out on a lightly flowered surface. Dough should be pretty thin, 1/8 of an inch or so. If you like, press diced rosemary into some of the rounds.
Once you have rolled out all of the rounds, begin making your tartlets. We made caramelized onion and tomato, tapenade with tomatoes and rosemary, and tomato basil. Fill the tarts and then fold the dough over and pinch at one inch intervals. Lightly brush with olive oil. Place on preheated pizza stone or cookie sheet. Bake tartlets until they are golden brown, roughly 40 minutes. Add any cheese 5 minutes before they are done cooking. We sprinkled parmesan over them as soon as they came out of the oven.