i can barely believe that we are already pretty much in mid august!! before you know it, we’ll be jumping in crunchy leaves in our boots, donning a light coat and scarf! haha, i might be jumping a little too far, too soon. but as excited as i am for fall, i’m still not over all my favorite summer fruits and veggies!
i feel like i’m especially connected to seasonal produce this year because of my sister. after 7 years of living almost halfway across the country from me, she’s finally moving her little family back to jersey and back to me! house hunting has been a tiny bit of a nightmare but i could not be more grateful to have my favorite people so close to me! (crazy aunt alert!) we’re already talking about the holidays and how often i MUST sleep over their place with my dogs, spontaneous yet lavish brunches, and being able to celebrate absolutely every tiny nook and cranny holiday!
anyway– back to the fresh produce. my sister is an amazing gardener. she’s absolutely obsessed and extremely knowledgable about everything gardening. seriously, she could talk for HOURS. maybe even days…. i’m not trying to find out. haha but really.. she started her garden here this year and i’ve been able to watch her start seeds, till up the dirt, spend hours in the sun lovingly planting seeds, the excitement in her face! i’ve had the opportunity to help with watering and watching the miracle happen before my eyes! sunflowers 12 feet tall! my nieces love being able to see big changes and helping with picking the ripe veggies straight off the vine. we’ve had endless amounts of fresh herbs too! oh, the joy of prepping pizzas for the oven and then to say to my niece, “belle! could you please run out to the garden and pick a few sprigs of basil for me?” so simple, but it’s in these small moments that i find the most joy!
so every time i look at the bountiful harvests of cucumbers and zucchinis and tomatoes, i can’t help but to dream up what bakes might be coming my way! really nothing more satisfying than watching those beautiful tomatoes grow! my niece picked a couple ripe beefsteaks, romas, and a handful of cherries after our walk and i decided to fix us up a gorgeous but completely simple little lunch! makes for a pretty darn good pre-dinner snack too haha
in comes the tomato tart. but not just any tomato tart. we start with a square of puff pastry. store bought, of course. i will never ever buy store bought pie dough, but i won’t fight the puff pastry in the frozen section, ever.
after we score the inside edge of the puff pastry, we dock it with a small fork in the middle to allow any steam to escape. after we brush all over with an egg wash, our mascarpone cheese is lightly dabbed and spread around the middle. this is topped with our fave mix of shredded cheeses. but WAIT, don’t forget the shallots! we finely diced these and tossed them around with olive oil before sprinkling it over the cheese. i can almost taste it!
then the fun part– we layer on our garden fresh tomatoes. i like a few thinly sliced ones, layered with smaller ones in varying sizes, and finished off with whole tiny cherry tomatoes! an extra sprinkle of cheese, shallots, and grated parm on top will do the trick!
but we’re not done yet! please do not sleep on the everything bagel seasoning! trust me. this lovely heavenly invention is heavily sprinkled all over the border of the pastry before we bake it in our hothothothot oven!
the layers, textures, most aromatic flavors come together in my fave little tarts ever! these are so versatile and will work with just about any veggie you can think of! zukes? asparagus? leeks? go for it!
makes 8 tarts, recipe easily halved
2 sheets of puff pastry
4 oz mascarpone cheese, room temp
1 c shredded cheese of choice (i use a mix of mozz, cheddar, montery jack)
2 shallots or 1 small/medium onion, finely diced
1 tb olive oil
3-4 medium ripe tomatoes (or 2 medium tomatoes and a handful of smaller, cherry tomatoes– i like to vary the sizes!)
2 tb grated parmesan cheese
for egg wash + topping
1 large egg
1 tb milk or water
everything bagel seasoning
flaky sea salt
thaw puff pastry sheets according to instructions in the box. mine tells me to thaw at room temp for 40 mins. i like to remove from freezer, place on my counter, and take my time prepping all my other ingredients. by the time i’m done, the puff pastry is pretty much ready to be handled. *you want to make sure the pastry is still cold to touch when you’re handling it. if it’s starting to get too soft and warm, stick it in the fridge for 10 mins.
while the puff pastry is thawing, slice tomatoes. set aside. finely dice shallots or onion, place in a small bowl, and toss around with 1 tb of olive oil. set aside.
preheat oven to 425 degrees F. place parchment paper on large baking sheet.
unfold the sheet of pastry and cut into 4 equal sized squares with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. repeat with second sheet and place onto baking sheet 1 inch apart. if they don’t all fit on one baking sheet, work on one puff pastry sheet at a time.
score the puff pastry squares. with a knife, go in half an inch from the edges, and score all around, making a smaller square inside, without cutting all the way through the pastry. then dock the middle square with a fork, making little holes. (videos in my IG story highlights will help with visuals should you need it!)
in a small bowl, beat egg and water together for the egg wash. lightly brush all over the pastry squares.
dab and spread a small amount of mascarpone on each square. sprinkle cheese on top, then the shallots. layer the tomatoes in the middle of the squares, leaving a pastry border of about 1/2 inch all around.
sprinkle with grated parm cheese and a pinch of salt.
sprinkle everything bagel seasoning all over the borders of each square.
bake for 20 minutes, until deep golden brown. enjoy warm! you’re very welcome for making your house smell AMAZING.