This party-perfect recipe by Phyllis Grant comes from the “Feed Your People” cookbook, and is great for serving a crowd. The sweet cherry tomatoes, briny anchovies, and mellow garlic confit are fantastic together, but you can change up the toppings any way you like, depending on personal tastes and what’s in season (still, we’d stick with the soft, sweet confited garlic cloves all year long). Try roasted or grilled corn or other vegetables, bacon, pancetta, or other cured meats, and feel free to crack an egg or two on top. Since this tart can be made ahead of time, it’s particularly great for picnics and backyard bashes.
Notes: If you don’t want to tackle homemade pastry dough, you can use prepared (fresh) pizza dough from the store, or frozen puff pastry instead; in either case, you will need about 1 pound of dough for a single tart. Whether using store-bought or homemade dough or pastry, you can easily double the recipe too (including the garlic confit recipe and topping amounts). In that case, bake both tarts at the same time on the top third and center racks of your oven, switching their positions halfway during baking to ensure even browning.
Special Equipment: You’ll need 1 or 2 half sheet pans (depending on whether you’re making a single or double batch), and a pastry brush, preferably silicone. You may also wish to use a pastry cutter if making homemade dough.
Make Ahead: The garlic confit can be made up to 2 weeks ahead of time and refrigerated. The pastry dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months; thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using, then let sit at room temperature for a few minutes before rolling out. The baked tart can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours before serving.
If you want to make it a tart tasting party, make our Fresh Tomato, Ricotta, and Goat Cheese Tart recipe too, and our Savory Onion and Leek Tart recipe while you’re at it. Then for dessert, try our Rustic Blueberry Tart recipe, or our Chocolate Ganache Tart recipe—or both!
To make the garlic confit:
1Discard the papery outer skins from the garlic head(s) and break apart into cloves. Using the tip of a small, sharp knife, poke a tiny hole in each clove to prevent the cloves from bursting, but do not peel. Put the garlic into a small, deep saucepan and pour in enough extra-virgin olive oil to cover. Add the rosemary and a pinch or two of salt if making a single batch, or double the amount if making a double batch. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil bubbles, then reduce the heat to low and cook until the garlic is soft, creamy, and cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Discard the herb sprigs. Transfer the garlic and its oil to a small covered container, which you can refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
To make the dough:
1In a large bowl, mix together the flour and the salt. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch square chunks and toss into the dry ingredients. With your hands or a pastry cutter, incorporate the butter until the butter chunks are the size of peas. Gradually add in half of the cold water and mix with a fork until it just begins to clump together— just moist enough to form a dough when pressed into a mass. Add more water as needed to reach this stage.
2Place the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and use the sides of the plastic wrap to press the dough into a disc. If making a double batch, divide the dough in half and wrap and shape each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.
To make the tart:
1In a saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons garlic confit oil (4 tablespoons if making a double batch) over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and thyme and season with a big pinch each of salt and sugar, double that if making a double batch. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes just start to soften, about 3 minutes. A few tomatoes will probably burst. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
2Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center. For a double batch, position racks in the center and bottom third of the oven. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper if making a single batch, or two pans if making a double batch.
3On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one dough portion into a rectangle large enough to fit the bottom of the prepared pan. It should be about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the dough sheet to the prepared pan. If making two tarts, roll out the second dough portion the same way, transfer to the prepared pan, and refrigerate until ready to top.
4Spread the mustard over the cold dough, leaving a roughly 1/2 inch border around the edges. Drain the tomato mixture in a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl; this step is important or the tart will be soggy. (The drained-off liquid can be reserved for another use, such as garnishing soup, if you like.) Scatter the tomatoes evenly over the dough (divide among each pan if using a double batch). Drape the anchovies over the tomatoes. Remove the garlic confit cloves from their oil and squeeze them from their skins onto the tart. (Phyllis likes to place a clove next to each anchovy fillet.) If you like, place a few cloves at the center of the tart as well. Grate the cheese evenly over the tart. Use a basting brush to paint the exposed tart dough edges with garlic oil.
5Bake until golden brown. (If baking two tarts, switch the pans between the racks and rotate them from back to front halfway through baking to ensure even browning.) This should take between 30 and 40 minutes. A good test is to lift a corner of the tart to see if it’s floppy or firm. Remove it from the oven when it doesn’t bow at all. Or take it out a little earlier if you prefer the tart a bit gooey. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Excerpted from Feed Your People: Big-Batch, Big-Hearted Cooking and Recipes to Gather Around. Copyright © 2018 by Leslie Jonath, recipe by Phyllis Grant. Reprinted with permission by powerHouse Books. Photograph by Molly DeCoudreaux.
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