This is one of my new favorite simple, end-of-tomato-season dishes. It's only got about a half dozen main ingredients, but it's the way you treat them that makes it unique. Spicy, sweet, salty, buttery, smoky, and tart—there's an awful lot of stuff going on in here, yet it's the kind of recipe that's custom-made for an informal dinner party.
Why It Works
- Salting the tomatoes and letting them drain before adding them to the tart ensures that your tart ends up intense and jammy instead of watery.
- A layer of whole-grain mustard spread over the bottom of the tart adds a pungent bite.
- A touch of liquid smoke added to the feta cheese brine gives it a lightly smoky flavor.
- Yield:Serves 6 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 40 minutes
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 5 ounces block feta cheese, with 1 cup of its brine (see note)
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe beefsteak tomatoes (about 2 large), cut into slices
- 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, split in half
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 recipe Easy Pie Dough
- 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, marjoram, and/or thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh delicate herbs, such as parsley, mint, basil, tarragon, and/or chives
Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 400°F. Add liquid smoke to feta brine, cutting or crumbling the cheese to make sure it is submerged. Set feta and brine aside.
Place beefsteak tomato slices and halved cherry tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with two layers of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Season with salt. Flip tomatoes and season second side. Set aside for 15 minutes, then blot excess liquid with more paper towels.
Carefully roll out cold pie dough into a circle that overlaps a 10-inch fluted tart pan. Use your rolling pin to carefully transfer dough to pan. Push it into corners with your fingertips and trim off excess with a butter knife. Transfer to freezer for 5 minutes.
Remove tart crust from freezer. Using the back of a spoon, spread mustard evenly over bottom surface. Layer tomatoes into tart crust, fitting them as tightly together as possible. Drain smoky feta cheese and crumble over the top. Season with black pepper. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with oregano, marjoram, and/or thyme leaves.
Transfer tart to oven and bake until bottom is well browned and crisp and top is sizzling, with tomatoes and cheese lightly browned and most of the liquid evaporated, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Sprinkle with remaining herbs, drizzle with a little more olive oil, and serve.