The idea was Daniel Baloud's, the execution was mine. His involved a pre-baked puff pastry discs, an herbed chevre, salted and drained fresh tomatoes, carmelized onions and a pesto, or pistou as he called it in French. His were individual. Mine involved one large baked puff pastry disc, ricotta cheese, dried thyme and lots of black pepper, salted and drained fresh tomatoes and whole basil leaves. Mine was a pie that served eight.
It was GREAT! Fabulous tasting, and quite beautiful. I will absolutely do this again. And again.
Roughly, here are the instructions:
Slice tomatoes about 1/3" thick and lay on towels to drain. Salt lightly. After about an hour, blot well to remove most of the water. In the meantime roll out puff pastry to about 3/16" thick, cut round shape using a pan lid, dock (prick full of holes) the pastry, let rest about 15 minutes in the fridge, then back for about 15 minutes at 400 or until golden brown. Let cool. Also, drain ricotta then season with herbs and black pepper.
To assemble, in a skillet saute two cloves of minced garlic in about two tblsp of olive for about one minute, just to soften. This becomes a shiny glaze and dressing that drizzles down between the tomatoes when it's inverted. Let cool, then layer in the tomato slices. Press to unite the tomatoes into a more cohesive layer. Blot again if neccessary. Spread the ricotta on top and then place the pastry over, press again; shortly before serving, invert onto a serving plate.
Serve as a first course on a bed of lightly dressed arugula or frisee.