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Tomato, Chèvre & Thyme Tart

The tomatoes back East and out West have been incredibly tasty this season.  Yum to that!  This time of year just drives me crazy with tomato laden delight. This tart the easiest thing but I think it has a bit of wow factor to it as the tomatoes are just so gorgeous split open.  Served with drinks, next to a salad for a light meal, or as a side to a full-on supper.

You know I am crazy for puff pastry.  Once again, this is just a normal sized sheet set on a parchment lined baking sheet to defrost.  Turn oven to 400 to heat up while the pastry thaws so you can unfold it.  Once ready, take a fork and prick a half inch border around the 4 sides, creating a frame.  Brush the outside of the frame with extra virgin olive oil.  Within that frame, spread chèvre.  It will be crumbly and not spread super smooth.  That is A’ok.  This will be the base that the tomatoes sit on once it comes out of the oven.  Heartily sprinkle the chèvre with salt & pepper.  Next pull off a good amount of fresh thyme leaves and let it rain all over the cheese.  Thyme is such a subtle herb, so the more the merrier.  Now put the whole thing in the hot oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Check at 15 to see how all is progressing and turn the sheet pan around if one side looks more brown than the other.  If at 20 minutes it is not golden, leave in for another 5 and keep checking until it looks how you would like it.  Take out when done and set on the counter to cool.

While that is cooling, now is the time to half your tomatoes.  My love of orange has me reaching for that color, but truly choose what tomatoes look best.  Do a variety of colors if you like.  I chose small cherry tomatoes, but larger variety would be swell too.  Now line up the tomatoes on the waiting tart.  Again sprinkle with a good amount of thyme, salt and pepper. Ready to serve!  See, told you it was that easy.  Enjoy and a happy, happy Monday and start of the week to you in your part of the world.  



Fresh Herbs + Chèvre = Herbed Chèvre

20130730-071736.jpg Yes, I am on a fresh herb kick. The plentiful-ness of the season just makes me want to use them as often as I can. We had several packages of goat cheese that had accumulated in our fridge in town. When I was packing up to head to the island for the week-end I threw one into the L.L. Bean bag, thinking I would find a use for it. The herb pots are going absolutely crazy with all this sun. A little herbed chèvre it would be. This is really the easiest darn thing to do, and it works well to serve on a cheese board too. For the other day, I stuffed the herbed cheese under chicken breasts, as TPS had made a special request for this for dinner, before roasting them. Within minutes, the house was filled with herby goodness.

Let your package of chèvre sit out for a bit to soften while sitting in a bowl. Choose whatever herbs you like, such as oregano and thyme. Take off all the leaves from the stems. On a cutting board chop the heck out of those herbs until they are super fine. The oils will get released from the leaves and the tiny bits of herbs will be lovely throughout the chèvre. Add that to the bowl as well as a few good grinds of course pepper and a few pinches of salt. Mix together. Form into a ball or log, depending on what you want to use it for. That simple. But so, so yummy.