I rarely watch tv…I mean really rarely. Every once in a while I enjoy watching a documentary, and recently discovered Chef’s Table. I love watching the well thought out moves of the kitchen staff, and find the presentation of the different style fascinating: the delicate moves, the precision of every wielded knife, the vibrant colors of fresh ingredients…I love it. I have worked in a few kitchens in my life…but none as nice and the ones in the show.
So, when I watched Alain Passard from L’Arpège (in Paris) roll out a homemade sheet of puff pastry, lightly brush it in butter, and cover it in a colorful mixture of thick-sliced heirloom tomatoes – my mouth began to water. He has such an amazing garden that produces fresh fruits and vegetables for his kitchen – a dream. One day I will get around to making my own puff pastry…it’s been on my bucket list for years, but will have to stay there a little longer. Luckily, my local grocery store sells vegan puff pastry, so I picked up some San Marzano tomatoes from my local farmer’s market and got right to it.
This is a really simple recipe, and my kids love eating these delicious crunchy pillows. The lightly caramelized tomato gives this savory snack a silky sweetness.
Simple Tomato Pastries
Serves 4 (Snack) – 12 (Amuse bouche) / Prep Time 5 min / Total Time 25 min
1 sheet vegan Puff Pastry, cut into 12 rectangles
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/8 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 teaspoon Fleur de Sel
6 San Marzano Tomatoes (can substitute with Roma), halved
1 pinch of Sugar
1 pinch of table Salt
1 hand full fresh Basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Remove the wire rack from your oven and line it with parchment paper. Place the rectangles of puff pastry on the parchment paper, making sure that they are not touching each other.
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, and fleur de sel. Brush each piece of pastry with the mixture, and place a tomato half on each piece of pastry – cut-side up. Larger tomato halves can be cut again in half to help them bake more evenly.
Brush the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the
tomatoes, and sprinkle each tomato with a small amount of sugar and salt.
Place the wire rack on the very bottom of your oven and bake for 10 minutes. The, set the wire rack in the center of the oven and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Baking the pastries at the bottom of the oven allows the bottom of the pastry to become really crunchy. If we had a pizza oven, we could skip this step. Take care not to leave the pastries in for too long as the puff pastry goes from golden-baked to charcoal-black rather quickly.
Once done, remove immediately from oven and allow to cool slightly before sprinkling with fresh basil.
The pastries can be stored for 2 days at (cool) room temperature and still taste great. These guys always taste great…breakfast..lunch…dinner…or in between meals.