As we mentioned in our previous recipe for tomato jam, we’ve been part of a project to grow out tomatoes for the Canadian Seed Library, a project of Seeds of Diversity, an exceptional non-profit dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing heritage seeds. Through the first week of October, we’ll be exploring recipes that suit each of these varieties.
Our second tomato from the Library is a large cherry tomato called Camp Joy. (You can see them in the image above.) It’s about 4cm, perfectly round, dense, low in seeds, and very flavourful. Camp Joy is named after Camp Joy Gardens near Santa Cruz, California that was one of the early leaders in bio-intensive gardening. It was developed by noted English gardener Alan Chadwick, who was at Camp Joy teaching classes in organic gardening.
An oven-baked tart is a great way to showcase this gem of a tomato and we love any excuse to play with puff pastry.
Either as a bite-sized morsel or a larger tart to share, this is a great way to showcase perfectly ripe tomatoes.
- a handful of large, ripe cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in half (Camp Joy tomatoes, being the size of a two-bite brownie, are perfect for this)
- one package puff pastry
- 3 tbsp soft goat cheese
- a few tbsp fresh herbs (we love basil, but you can try thyme, rosemary, chives or parsley)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Although we have a couple of technique suggestions, this simple recipe is just an excuse to play and experiment. Mix tomato varieties, try different cheeses and consider including other ingredients like roasted garlic or caramelized onions.
- Defrost the puff pastry, for an hour on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the tomatoes in half, then place cut-side down on paper towel (to absorb some of the moisture) for up to a half hour.
- Unfold and roll out the pastry into an 11 inch square on a lightly floured surface. Trim off the corners with a sharp knife to shape the pastry sheet into a circle; score a circle (lightly track it with a knife) around 1 inch in from the edge.
- Crumble the goat cheese into the centre of the crust, then put the tomatoes on, cut side up. Brush tomatoes with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh herbs.
- Bake in middle rack of oven for 15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
- Cut into quarters, serve cool or hot and enjoy!