“It’s not good enough.”
“You’re not good enough.”
“You’re going to fail.”
When I go through spells of depression, the negative self talk I experience is crippling. I become full of self doubt and am emotionally paralyzed to the point where it becomes impossible to get any real work done. I question all of my decisions and quickly become overwhelmed and foggy as I try to navigate through the creative process.
It feels as though I just lost six weeks of my life. They vanished (actually, they dragged on) and I have nothing to show for my days except for lackluster photos and half assed recipes that I can barely remember whether I liked or not. Normally this wouldn’t be a huge loss but I have a major deadline that’s quickly approaching. I’m not sure whether I’m dreading September’s arrival or desperate for it to finally come and go. I guess it’s a bit of both.
The good news is that I feel like I’m finally reaching the other side of a long, dark and cloudy tunnel. I’m starting to feel like myself again. I’m still testing the waters and getting my toes wet. And I have a lot of catching up to do.
For this recipe, I kept things very simple. It’s hard to go wrong with puff pastry, roasted garlic, and the first tomatoes of the season. I chose not to reinvent the wheel and stuck with a winning formula. It’s tasty.
- 1 head garlic
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound similar size medium tomatoes (approximately 4-5)
- 1 sheet puff pastry, chilled (leave in the refrigerator until needed)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped finely
- kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice off just the top of the garlic head so that a small amount of each clove shows through. Place the garlic in a small ramekin and drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, just enough to cover the exposed cloves. Sprinkle with kosher salt and cover the ramekin with foil. Place the ramekin in the oven and roast the garlic for 40 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves into a bowl and mash with the back of a spoon to make a paste.
- Core the tomatoes and cut into ¼ inch slices, reserving the ends for another use. Lay the slices out on a cutting board close together in 3 rows to stage how the tart will look (I had 3 rows of 8).
- Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out to approximately 10x14 inches. Place the puff pastry on the prepared sheet tray.
- Spread a thin layer of roasted garlic over the dough (there might not be enough to cover all of the dough, which is ok). Sprinkle the thyme evenly over the garlic (again, it will not cover the entire tart. The flavors will still infuse). Layer the tomato slices on top. If there is a lot of excess dough around the edges, use a pizza cutter, bench scraper or knife to cut it away, leaving only an inch of excess dough.
- Bake the tart for approximately 25 minutes, or until the edges are flaky and golden brown.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.