Heirloom Tomato Tart – Recipe

Heirloom Tomato Tart
Heirloom Tomato Tart

While we are on a roll with the pastry crusts, let's not forget the wonderful savory possibilities! For this one I used the exact same crust as last week's crostata, but baked it in a tart pan and filled it with a tasty aged provolone, Purple Cherokee and Sungold tomatoes and basil.

A useful trick with fresh herbs is to add them twice; once early in the cooking for a deep, infused flavor and a second time at the very end, for the bright green notes.

You could serve this with a green salad for a light meal, or in smaller slices as an appetizer.

The tomatoes are of course going to give off a decent amount of moisture which will keep the bottom crust from being perfectly crispy, though it is still delicious. Brushing with olive oil first can help a bit. If you have the time, you could roast them separately and blind-bake the crust.

For a variation, you could substitute any flavorful cheese that melts well. Fresh thyme, parsley or rosemary would be good instead of (or in addition to) the basil. If you use the rosemary, mince it finely and only do the first addition – don't garnish with it.

Heirloom Tomato Tart
Makes one 11" tart, serves 4-6
Vegetarian (with dairy)

  • 1 batch of the pastry recipe from this crostata
  • small handful of fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (thinly sliced), divided in two parts
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grated aged provolone cheese
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cored and sliced parallel to their base (not vertically), about 1/4" thick – don't use the top or bottom slice
  • handful of heirloom cherry tomatoes (preferably of a contrasting color), halved
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Use convection if you have it, it will help get some moisture off of the tomatoes.
  2. Roll the pastry out so that it is bigger than the base of your 11" tart pan by about 1/2" all the way around. Roll up on your pin and unroll over the tart pan. Push down into the corner and use a knife (carefully) to trim the top edge.
  3. Brush the crust with olive oil.
  4. Distribute the cheese and half of the basil.
  5. Arrange the large slices of tomato, fitting them as closely together as possible. Fill in the areas between them with cherry tomatoes.
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. After about the first ten minutes of baking, prick all of the large tomatoes a few times with a fork to aid moisture release… even gently push down on them with the tines of the fork, without distorting their shape too much.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool ten minutes. Top with the remaining basil and a healthy dose of flaky sea salt and black pepper.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Thursday, August 27th, 2009 in Baking, Main Courses, Recipes.

7 Responses to “Heirloom Tomato Tart – Recipe”

  1. dave
    August 27, 2009 at 11:14 am #

    I might try lightly salting the sliced tomatoes and letting them sit in a colander or on a rack for half and hour or so to encourage them to give up some of their water. Then blot them lightly with a paper towel before assembling. This might help avoid a soggy crust. And it concentrates the tomato flavor a bit. I’d just want to be a little careful with the finishing salt.

  2. Melissa
    August 27, 2009 at 8:41 pm #

    Thanks for this recipe! Your blog is my favorite of all the culinary blogs I follow weekly. I love the tips that you offer as well. Can’t wait to try this one with the beautiful tomatoes available now at the farmers’ market.

    Have you worked at all with kale? I’ve never had it and am looking to experiment with it in some of my dishes. I would love to see some recipes with kale… :D

  3. Michael Natkin
    August 27, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    Thanks Melissa! Re: kale, I adore the stuff but unfortunately my wife
    doesn’t feel the same way :), so I don’t get so many opportunities to cook
    with it. The main things are to clean it really thoroughly and strip the
    stems, then cook it till quite tender. A couple things I like are a simple
    saute with any subset of garlic/onions/chili flakes/lemon zest, and cut into
    thin strips and added to soup with lots of garlic and potatoes.

  4. August 28, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    Loving it! I have some heirloom tomatoes in the fridge right now. Might just make a mini tart :D as an appetizer!

  5. August 28, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

    Ciao Michael,

    can you remove the tart from your baking pan? Or is it too hard and better to cut it inside it?
    (I am not good at it, so I always use baking paper…)

  6. Michael Natkin
    August 28, 2009 at 4:04 pm #

    Yep! I use the kind of tart pan that has the removable bottom, so all you
    have to do is lower it onto someting like a can of tomatoes and the side
    pops right off. There is enough fat in the crust that it easily separates
    from the pan.

  7. oddjob
    September 6, 2009 at 7:05 am #

    If you slice the stems cross-wise fairly thinly (say, 1/8″-1/4″) you can saute them along with the rest of the leaf. That way there’s nothing left over and nothing thrown away. The result has some crunch to it, but it’s not much different from the crunch of celery (just a bit more dense).

    I love kale! It’s also excellent when braised, or in soup!

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