Makes 4 servings
- 3 1/2 oz (100 g) puff pastry
- 18 oz (500 g) ripe medium tomatoes
- + salt
- 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves plucked
- 1 t tomato paste
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 T ice-cold water
- + fresh thyme leaves
- + freshly ground black pepper
- + fresh green and purple microbasil
- Heat the oven to 425°F and place 2 baking sheets in the oven. Divide the puff pastry into quarters and roll each quarter into a ball, then use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a 6-inch circle about 1/16-inch thick. Place each circle on a square of parchment paper and place in the refrigerator.
- Set up a large pot of boiling water and an ice bath. Blanch the tomatoes for a few seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into the ice bath. Peel and set aside.
- Salt the boiling water. Blanch half the basil leaves for 10 seconds. Drain, refresh in the ice bath, and drain again. Chop the leaves finely, then mix with the tomato paste.
- Spread the tomato-basil mixture onto the puff-pastry disks, leaving a 1/4-inch border.
- Slice the peeled tomatoes about ⅛-inch thick. Pat the slices lightly to remove any excess seeds or pulp, and lay them carefully onto the tomato-basil mixture.
- Prepare the pesto: chop the leaves of the second half of the bunch of basil, and mix with the olive oil and water.
- Sprinkle the tarts with the thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. Lay the tarts—still on their parchment squares—on the hot baking sheets, and bake for 10–12 minutes, until the pastry is golden and slightly puffed.
- Transfer the tarts to warm serving plates. Mix the pesto one more time, then brush each tart with the pesto. Top with the fresh green and purple microbasil, and serve hot out of the oven.