My friends, this turned out good. Yes, I know that's grammatically incorrect; I should say it turned out well, which indeed it did. But it also turned out good. As in good. As in really, really good.
It's a little early in the season for tomatoes, but this week's assignment for the Food Matters Project was for a Savory Tomato Crisp, chosen by Nicole of the Giving Table, so I decided to give it a go. I actually found some very nice looking plum tomatoes at the market so I was game. But something was telling me, "Do a tart. You want a tart. You know you want a tart." So a tart it would be.
I had read many months ago about Gerard's Mustard Tart, which is included in Dorie Greenspan's cookbook Around My French Table and which I'd been wanting to try ever since I heard about it. But I also had an old recipe for an herbed tomato tart, what the French call a tart a la tomate, and thought that would hit the spot as well and actually be closer to Bittman's tomato crisp. When I considered all three recipes, I realized they had very similar aims-- savoriness and tomatoes. So why not combine the best from each into something hopefully as good as any one of the originals.
Well, this did the trick. I took the idea of adding a quiche-like filling from the Gerard's Mustard Tart recipe, the addition of cheese from both Bittman's recipe and the tart a la tomate recipe, and the idea of the herbed topping from the French version as well. The idea of mustard came obviously from Greenspan's recipe but also from the French recipe, which directs you to spread mustard over the bottom of the tart shell before adding other ingredients. I simply had to see what that was about.
I changed up a few of the other ingredients basically because those were the ingredients I had on hand-- Fontina cheese and a mixture of parsley, tarragon, and basil. Turns out those ingredients were just perfect when combined with the mustard, eggs, and Parmegiano-Reggiano.
So what came of this grand experiment? A very thin, flaky, herby, cheesy, tomato-y, light tart. Almost like a pizza tart, if you will, it was that thin. You could actually eat it by hand just like a slice of your favorite pizza. Which is exactly what I did with a slice of the leftovers.
Herbed Tomato Mustard Tart
For a deeper-dish version of this recipe, simply double (or maybe even triple?!) the number of tomatoes. You may also add another egg and two tablespoons of milk/cream to the egg mixture if you want a little more egg-iness. Or you can simply use a smaller tart pan!